Raymond Davis Affair: A Sorry Saga

By now we all know where this would led to, Davis is somewhere in US, enjoying his new found freedom. Cue the Ghairat brigade to make some more noises, hyperboles and such. Eventually because it was all done by daddy, they would simmer down after a token, half-hearted, kicking and screaming. Only other option for them is to protest against their benefactors and/or rather malign Federal Government even more (though they didn’t formally do anything). Expect more of later, former is mostly very unlikely.

Going back a bit, once he was caught, Davis affair presented four outcomes.

  1. Federal government, on advice of Foreign office, declares him a diplomat and he is allowed to be returned to US
  2. The prosecution charges him only with murder and periphery crimes, but he is pardoned by the family
  3. He is not pardoned by the family, and the court ‘has to’ acquits him
  4. That US shows no interest in Davis, and normal proceedings take place

Americans took away option four from the start and pressed for option one. But this would been too easy and our agencies wanted to use Davis as a leverage. Thus the ‘ghariat’ brigade was armed with rhetoric and propaganda material, and let loose. Everything under the sun was ignored by the media, and it became a one point agenda: ‘Hang Davis’. All the mice followed the Piper tune blindly, followed the script perfectly. Notice how the charges of espionage and also the fate of the third person were almost rarely ever discussed. (Something this blog time and again highlighted, to no avail). It was always about ‘justice to family’ killed by Davis. Initially this was made to show as if by making it all about the family, government was being stripped of its prerogative to pardon anyone who has committed crimes against the State. By making it a private affair, they were ensuring government is not able to say that letting Davis go is needed in national interests, or so they were told. We know now that wasn’t the case – this was done to ensure that grounds for option two were kept open.

Thus with strong media campaign, misinformation and tactical ploys, deep state was able to take away option one from the grasp of Federal government, leaving them helpless. The fact that Shah Mahmood Qureshi was a casualty is unfortunate for his political career and standing – but he decided to stand with Aab Para, over his own party. This was also a strong message to Americans who wields power and who they need to negotiate – Ministers are dispensable.

US realised this, and negotiations began and we know many personal concessions were won, and of course we would expect a lot of military assistance. But there were many institutional concessions as well, if we can call them that! One of the main thing conceded by US is inclusion of Pak deep state in the direction of future events in AfPak region and its ability to be a party in talks with Talibans and even brokering some of the talks (with Haqqani group et al). Khakis have long sought this power, and it seems this would now be within their grasp.  Americans conceded, because wanted their man but didn’t want to give our blood-money (stupid principles). Evidently here the Saudis intervened, agreed to pay the minuscule (to them) amount and get this thing over – another report is that Pakistan paid it from their own pocket, they’d just get the refund in shape of American aid.

This is a dangerous precedent in a way because once again the Federal Government, the people’s representative, have been undermined by the establishment, once again. What is more, effectively Federal government is getting bad press, when they had no any formal role in the action. Remember Federal government was only involved till the case was of immunity under Vienna Convention; foreign office in fact made no case on that basis and instead criminal case was allowed by LHC. Only Punjab government from then onwards was formally involved with the case. It was Punjab Government’s responsibility to try Davis under all the given likely charges. They decided only to do them as crime against person, not against state so as it remains within the option 2, which was always the plan. Had that option been taken away, then there was always a possibility of acquittal but that would have been a harder pill to swallow for the public. But the real game players are not even called as such. Observe the reluctance of those who were played like fools by the very agencies to even blame them for it. A dog doesn’t bark at his master, regardless of violence it receives. They have gained what they wanted and don’t even have to face slack for it! This is the great thing about ‘owning’ the news media through your valuable proxies.

Release of Davis: a step towards radicalisation of Pakistan? More like another step towards creating a more pro-authoritarian, anti-democracy set up. Brigade of Ghairtis (or B-Gharitis) once again have played a part in it, like they always have.

I personally still remain with the Federal Government’s stance earlier on. The most honourable stand would have been to review if Davis had diplomatic status or not. Foreign office never really investigated this, gave out contradictory information to media as well as the courts, followed the Aab para dictation. Instead of using Davis to our advantage as a bargaining chip, we could have chosen to stand as an equal and a responsible state. Made decisions according to letter and spirit of law and conventions we adhere to, but rather this step was seen as a ‘sell out’. Manipulation and Black-mail was considered better alternative, well then powers that be decided to do the same, only did their understanding of ‘National Interest’ isn’t limited to liberating of a certain Ms. Siddiqui, it is to garner more power.

Furthermore, not a peep against the ‘legal-tool’ used to free Davis, that is the blood-money provisions. Only argument used against is that, the use of Qiyas and Diyah was ‘too quick’ and possibly the family was harassed into taking 20 Crores Rs. So here is a question, in a country like Pakistan with such disparates, how many cases of diyahs do you think are based on families being pressured? In fact recognising this, diyah has a minimum limit, just to ensure the families get something monetarily. Other criticism of it being too quick is just ridiculously funny, what were you expecting another Qadri to emerge while Davis waited in jail for hearing? Finally all it comes down to is the conviction on carrying a unlicensed gun – why two months? Judge was influenced! Really? So you mean to say court wasn’t influenced when it nullified NRO but never the pardon to Abdul Qadeer? Is it when the court is almost vehemently PPP that it becomes free, moment it goes either neutral or against your understanding of correct decision, courts are influenced?

On a final note, isn’t the basic philosophy behind Qayas that of forgive and forget? and wasn’t that what Federal government had sought to do in first place? ahh Forget it!

Post Script: Another joke at our intellectual expense. Sunni Ittehad Council calls the government’s position after Davis ‘Morally, ethically, constitutionally and Islamically’ unattainable. This from the man who year after year fails to see a huge celestial body, i.e. the moon, has led to many variations in Eid days and yet never even contemplated resignation. This guy is lecturing others on job performance, bravo!


3 responses to “Raymond Davis Affair: A Sorry Saga”

  1. Credible sources disclosed that in the second week of February, Shahbaz Sharif received instructions from some of his foreign friends and he engaged some influential personalities of Lahore to convince the families of the deceased Faizan and Faheem to accept the money. The same influential friends of Shahbaz Sharif, according to these sources, also persuaded the leadership of PML-Q and JUI-F not to create any problems in the resolution of the issue. Sources said following the suggestions of his foreign friends, Shahbaz Sharif instructed Punjab’s Law Minister Rana Sanaullah not to officially inform the federal interior ministry about the names of four Americans who were revealed by Raymond Davis on the first day of investigation, so they could not be put on the Exit Control List and thus could leave Pakistan easily.