On January 27, In broad day light, an alleged American security official, Raymond Davis was found wandering around on the busy roads of Lahore in a private car. Besides carrying arms Raymond was also found carrying wireless phones and other devices. Making the best use of his weapons, Raymond opened fire at two alleged robbers. Not just that, as he could not flee from the scene, a 4WD vehicle arrived and tried to rescue Raymond from the mob that started to gather there. The vehicle ran over a motorcycle and a rickshaw, thus killing another person and injured several citizens.
Hamza Malik at The True Perspective reports the story in his own words:
One such tragic and truly heart rending tale occurred yesterday when an American diplomat called Raymond Davis shot at and killed two young men – Faizan and Faheem at a traffic signal on Qartaba Chowk in Lahore. While the killer tried to flee from the shooting scene, his companions following him in a Land Cruiser entered the wrong side of the road and hit a motorcyclist killing him on the spot and injured another pedestrian seriously.
He expresses his concerns with these words:
And just as I was about to revel in the fact that justice might indeed be served, out came the news that he had been shifted to an undisclosed location. That undisclosed location is most probably his home in the United States and consequently once again the abhorred level of police professionalism came to the fore.
The story got controversial to a huge extent when the US Embassy asked for the release of Raymond Davis, citing that according to the international laws, he enjoys the diplomatic immunity. Rai Muhammad Saleh Azam quotes from the US Embassy's press release at Teeth Maestro blog:
It may be pertinent to note that the U.S. Embassy’s press release of 29 January 2011 makes the following, rather surprising, claim:
“On January 27, the diplomat acted in self-defense when confronted by two armed men on motorcycles. The diplomat had every reason to believe that the armed men meant him bodily harm. Minutes earlier, the two men, who had criminal backgrounds, had robbed money and valuables at gunpoint from a Pakistani citizen in the same area.”
The case took depressing turn when on Feb 7, Shumaila Kanwer, the widow of Faheem, a Pakistani man allegedly shot and killed by Davis, committed suicide.
Sana Saleem voices her concerns in these words;
While her death should and will trigger a response from the public, it should be a response that is devoid of political agendas and hate-mongering. It should be a call for the rule of law to be upheld and justice to be served. After all, it is the hate-mongering, the conspiracy theories, the knee-jerk anti Americanism that made Kanwal believe that justice would never be served in her case.
She goes on to say:
Kanwal was not looking for justice from the US instead she was expecting her own government and the judicial system to rise to the occasion, to which they did. Regardless, her hopes were shattered by constant reminders that ‘the country has been sold to America’ and that the ‘Government is planning a safe passage for their ally’. References that Davis might be a part of a mercenary force, Blackwater or XE Services only fed her doubt.
Read my tweets: No US official, incl the NSA, has conveyed any personal threats 2 me or spoken of extreme measures as cited by @ABC
Following the US demand to release Davis, the protesters took to the streets in a country which already has increasing anti-US sentiments. Not surprisingly, the protesters include people from all walks of life. As Sarah Khan of CriticalPPP blog quotes Imran Khan's call for protest in following words:
“Come out on streets if you want to get justice and secure your rights,” he emphatically urged the people.
People from civil society gathered to protest on streets.
Taking full advantage of the opportunity, religious organizations such as JUI and Hizb ut Tahrir are also joining the protests.
Inspired by Egyptian revolution, many Pakistani digital activists are also also gearing up for organized protests under the banner of Pakistan Revolution Movement.
As of today, the protests continue and the fate of Raymond Davis is undecided.