LHC seeks replies from secretaries
By our correspondent at The International News April 21, 2011
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday sought replies from foreign and interior ministries besides the capital city police officer Lahore within two weeks on a petition seeking action and recovery of the vehicle which had killed Ibadur Rehman at Mozang Chungi in January.
Ijazur Rehman, brother of the deceased, filed the petition and pleaded through his counsel that more than three months had passed but no action was taken to arrest the driver and impound the vehicle which killed Ibadur Rehman.
The petitioner prayed to the court to direct the authorities to arrest the killers and recover the vehicle for further criminal proceedings against the accused. Ibadur Rehman was crushed to death by a US consulate vehicle which came to rescue CIA contractor Raymond Davis after he had gunned down two persons at Mozang Chungi.
Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — Pakistan has temporarily stopped cooperating with American intelligence officials after the upset caused by the arrest and release of CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who fatally shot two Pakistanis earlier this year, a senior Pakistani security source told CNN.
While the two countries will continue to share vital intelligence about any imminent acts of terrorism, joint operations have been put on hold, the source said, and the ISI — Pakistan’s intelligence agency — has asked the CIA to “give them visibility” over what the source says are an estimated 40 covert American intelligence operatives working in Pakistan.
The freeze brings U.S.-Pakistani intelligence cooperation to a new low. The two countries are already on rocky ground as Washington tries to persuade Islamabad of the need to allow it to autonomously hunt al Qaeda targets inside Pakistani territory. This has largely been conducted through unmanned aerial drone strikes — another sore spot in relations, after such strikes have killed dozens of civilians.
The strained relationship dominated what one official called a “frank discussion” — diplomatic jargon for a talk in which disagreements are aired openly — Monday in Washington between CIA Director Leon Panetta and the chief of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha. Please read the entire story here
A total of 331 US officials in Pakistan, most of them suspected of engaging in espionage under diplomatic cover, have been “identified to leave the country” under a secret deal between the two sides for release of American national Raymond Davis, a media report said on Thursday.
Pakistani authorities have agreed not to declare these US officials “persona non grata” if they voluntarily leave the country within a stipulated time, ‘The Express Tribune’ quoted unnamed sources as saying.
Islamabad was almost ready to summarily expel these persons who have various levels of diplomatic immunity as most of them were issued Pakistani visas without getting prior no-objection certificates in line with standard operating procedures, the daily reported.
Davis, a 36-year-old former Special Forces soldier, was arrested in Lahore in January after he shot and killed two armed men. He was recently pardoned and freed by a court under a “blood money” deal whereby over USD two million were paid to the families of the dead men.
According to standard operating procedures, all embassy and consulate staff working under different diplomatic covers like contractors, consultants, technicians and administrative staff are required to be vetted by relevant officials before visas are issued to them.
Pakistani officials, while handing over a list to the US, had demanded that the American officials should be immediately recalled. Please read the entire story here
PESHAWAR: The security agencies across the country have been given the green light to go after suspicious foreigners in their respective areas following reports about the presence of spies in the guise of aid workers and diplomats, a source confided to The News.
Statistics show that at least 2,570 foreigners of 78 different countries, including 1,919 appointed on diplomatic positions, are presently working in foreign missions across Pakistan.
An American national Aaron Mark DeHaven was arrested in Peshawar on February 24 for overstaying in Pakistan as his visa had expired in October last year. He has married a local woman and has been living in the city for many years despite the fact that foreigners were facing threats in Peshawar and rest of the province.
Four other Americans were detained for a couple of hours on March 14 by cops from the University Town police station. The same police station briefly held three other foreigners, including a French national and an Australian, on March 18 but they were released after the investigators were satisfied that they had the required legal documents. Foreigners have also been held in Lahore and other cities of the country.
VETERANS TODAY EXCLUSIVE: RAYMOND DAVIS RELEASE – IMRAN KHAN & IJAZUL HAQ INTERVIEWS – THE INSIDE STORY
CIA contractor Raymond Davis was released by Punjab officials after a reported deal was negotiated with the families of the two men he was accused of murdering. Davis was scheduled to be indicted for murder charges today. Security forces picked up the families last night.
Despite the late hour, spontaneous demonstrations have materialized around Pakistan. The US Consulate in Lahore is the scene tonight of violent clashes between police and anti-American demonstrators. More demonstrations are planned for tomorrow as political parties vie for credibility in light of the public outrage at Davis’ release.
A payment estimated a $2 million was made to secure the release. The families are still in police custody. Davis is now at an undisclosed location, rumored to be Bagram Air Force Base in Kabul.
THE REAL STORY
Press stories are largely inaccurate and incomplete. This is what actually happened according to high ranking sources in the Punjab police and government officials who wish to remain anonymous.
Tonight, Afzal, the uncle of Shumaila, the widow of one of the slain men who had committed suicide, went on Pakistani television. He told the audience, moments ago:
Family members were told they were being taken to the police station to make statements. Instead, they were taken to a secret location and held in isolation and told that unless they signed a letter pardoning Davis, “you will never see daylight.”
Ijazul Haq, Pakistan’s former Minister of Religion and son of former Prime Minister Zia al Haq reports, in a VT exclusive, that members of the family and others involved, were given US citizenship to protect them from reprisals.
Law360, New York (March 16, 2011) — The U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the case of Raymond Davis, the newly-freed CIA contractor who shot and killed two Pakistani men in January, a U.S. official said Wednesday.
Cameron Munter, the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, confirmed the probe in a statement on the heels of news that Davis had been released from a jail in Lahore after the families of the victims agreed to pardon him.
Without giving further details of the investigation, Munter said he was grateful for the generosity of the families, who each reportedly received between $700,000 and $1 million in so-called “blood money” as part of the deal to free Davis.
“I wish to express, once again, my regret for the incident and my sorrow at the suffering it caused,” he said. “Most of all, I wish to reaffirm the importance that America places in its relationship with Pakistan, and the commitment of the American people to work with their Pakistani counterparts to move ahead in ways that will benefit us all.”
Following his release from two months of detention, Davis was flown to Kabul, Afghanistan, to meet with U.S. officials, the Washington Post reported.
The source of the families’ payouts remained unclear Wednesday, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telling reporters in Cairo that the U.S. government was not behind the compensation, according to Reuters.
The News reports that U.S.-contractor Raymond Davis will be arraigned on murder charges on Wednesday. Legal experts reported that the formal trial would begin in the next hearing. Former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also argued that the U.S. should present proof of its claims of diplomatic immunity for Raymond Davis. Qureshi stated that, “It is my stand that Davis dose not enjoy immunity and I took this stand after a briefing from senior officers of the Foreign Office.”
LAHORE: The foreign ministry on Monday informed the Lahore High Court (LHC) that Raymond Davis had a diplomatic passport and was given an official business visa but they did not confirm whether the American gunman enjoyed diplomatic immunity.
The LHC questioned the foreign ministry’s stance and said it was not being clear on the matter.
Chief Justice Ejaz Hussain then disposed off the petitions questioning Davis’s immunity, saying the issue will now be settled in the trial court.
The court also asked the foreign ministry to submit a reply on a petition challenging Vienna convention.
Davis faces double-murder charges for gunning down two men in Lahore’s Mozang area on January 27, 2011, and has been a source of strained relations between Pakistan and the United States. Please see the original article here
Pakistani police arrested a US embassy employee after his vehicle hit and seriously injured a motorcyclist in the federal capital, posing a fresh challenge for bilateral ties that are already under strain over the arrest of a CIA contractor on charges of shooting and killing two men.
Maqbool Ahmed was “critically injured” when the US embassy vehicle hit his motorcycle in Blue Area, a commercial district of Islamabad, police said.
Ahmed’s wife sustained minor injuries while his child escaped unhurt.
Police arrested the driver of the US embassy vehicle and took him to Kohsar police station, officials said.
US embassy spokesperson Alberto Rodriguez confirmed the incident and said that the mission was “working with Pakistani police to resolve the matter”.
He said the driver of the vehicle involved in the incident was an American employee of the embassy.
Relations between Pakistan and the US plunged to a new low after police arrested CIA contractor Raymond Davis in Lahore in January after he gunned down two armed men he claimed were trying to rob him.
Sources here suspect that they are US spies who took advantage of the lenient visa policy introduced by the Government of Pakistan last year, which enabled them to get visas without any security clearance and later travelled to Pakistan.
Official sources said that the Interior Ministry, Foreign Office and even the ISI have no idea as to what the real purpose of the visits of these American “officials” was, many of whom are believed to be still here. Whom do they meet, where do they stay and what they do here are the unanswered questions raised by the Pakistani authorities after a detailed scrutiny.
According to the sources, during the period September 2010 to February 2011, a total of 1,171 visas were issued by the Pakistan Embassy to the US officials without any security clearance.
During this period, the personnel belonging to the much condemned DynCorp were also issued multiple entry visas despite the reservations of the intelligence and security agencies about the American company’s “mischievous” role like Blackwater. DynCorp workers were alleged to have been involved in spying and several of them were disengaged from places like the Sihala Police College, where they were apparently imparting training to police officials but were alleged to have been spying on the Kahuta nuclear facility.
After the Raymond Davis double murder case, which rang alarm bells everywhere in Pakistan, the legitimacy of all the 1,171 cases (who were issued visas by Pakistan’s Embassy in Washington without security check from September 2010 to February 2011) were reviewed by the security agencies with the assistance of the concerned ministries.
The following 55 cases are still suspect:
Glenn Michael Prince, 820227896, 90 days single entry, Official; Andrew Jairam, 820444026, 90 single entry, official; Maricio Jose Cienfuegos, 820161853, 90 single entry, official; Mohammad Usman Khan Sarosh Nabeel Hussain, 820633215, 820598350, 90 single entry, Assignment Official Business; Mark Russell Miller, 820625491, 90 single entry, assignment (Off); Maurice Reiff Landes III, 820238481, 90 single entry, assignment (Off); Datch K Mita, 820336226, one year multiple entry, official; David Burke Hegwook, 820513536, one year multiple entry, official; Jeffery Joseph Hamer, 820612259, one year multiple entry, official; Richard Todd Drennan, 910148558, one year multiple entry, official; Toddie Lenaren Gray, 472901357, one year multiple entry, official; Paul Nicholas Samartan, 4595345886, one year multiple entry, official; Orlando Gabriel Ramirez, 407025311 one year multiple entry, official; Freddie Houston Mitchell li, 465621858, one year multiple entry, official; Russell Dawayne Maddox, 461091766, one year multiple entry, official; Kutaiba Aldandach, 452161218, 06 months multiple entry, business (DynCorp/DA); Jon Mach Emmick, 135027568, 06 months multiple entry, official (USG); David Allen Harper, 441069356, 06 months multiple entry, official (USG); Michael Russel Nevitt, 820537359, one year multiple entry, official; Nazir Hussain Arshad, 820675132, 90 days single entry, official; Bryan Frederick Schilling, 820528704, one year multiple entry, official; Williams Lee Oenttinger, 820406289, 90 days double entry, official; Steven Anthony Lamar Williams, 820505235, 90 days double entry, official; Michael Lee Webber, 820514813, 90 days double entry, official; Ralph Lewis Lewis Show, 78046096, 90 days single entry, official; Anthony Alan Anderson, 820667708, one year multiple entry, assignment; Stephen Robert Hood, 820673610, one year multiple entry, assignment; Michal Willard Hughes, 820667704, one year multiple entry, assignment; Alexander Donald Maich, 820667709, one year multiple entry, assignment; James Clifford Roberts, 820683039, one year multiple entry, assignment; Edward William Smith, 820673609, one year multiple entry, assignment; Gilbert Ernest Zuniga, 820667710, one year multiple entry, assignment; Tommy Forrest James Sr, 820377306, one year multiple entry, assignment; Jamie Ross Williams, 820441559, one year multiple entry, assignment; Lucas Michael Krasowski, 900038074, one year multiple entry, assignment; William Patrick Burns, 910126866, one year multiple entry, assignment; Frank K Moris, 910046912, one year multiple entry, assignment; Joshua John Meyer, 910097094, one year multiple entry, assignment; Cole Wayne Smith, 910118187, one year multiple entry, assignment; Mathias Myron Cottried Boehm, 910125390, one year multiple entry, assignment; Jason Edward Bierly, 910118182, one year multiple entry, assignment; Brabford Chase Hopewell, 910144261, one year multiple entry, assignment; John C Haberl, 910153705, one year multiple entry, assignment; Craig Alvin Johnson, 301470647, one year multiple entry, official; Theodre Lee Schnack Jr, 820679986, one year multiple entry, assignment; Patrick Dominick Harris, 820667701, one year multiple entry, assignment; Michel Daniel Brady, 820709204, one year multiple entry, assignment; William Peter Couture, 820709203, one year multiple entry, assignment; Edward Shaun Guice, 820709202, one year multiple entry, assignment; Dennis Micheal Harrington, 820709201, one year multiple entry, assignment; Thomas Richard Hathaway Jr, 820709400, one year multiple entry, assignment; Keith Ewn Hattori, 820709399, one year multiple entry, assignment; Geroge Otis Williams, 820709398, one year multiple entry, assignment; Craig Alvin Johnson, 820709397, one year multiple entry, assignment.
The US Embassy spokesman, Alberto Rodriguez, when approached, said that the embassy does not keep the immigration record of the officials visiting Pakistan on official visas. Such a record should be maintained by the Government of Pakistan, which he said would be in a better position to say as to when any official had entered or left the country.
Alberto was though not provided the suspected cases of 55 American “officials”. He, however, said that if they were issued official or assignment visas, then they all would have been notified by the embassy besides having been allowed to travel to Pakistan as part of the process.
(Reuters) March 8, 2011-
A Pakistani court is likely to indict a CIA contractor next week for murdering two men, lawyers said on Tuesday, despite U.S. insistence he has diplomatic immunity, acted in self-defense and should be released.
The arrest of American contractor Raymond Davis, 36, who shot dead two Pakistanis in the eastern city of Lahore on January27 in what he said in was an act of self-defense, has put grave strains on relations between the United States and its important ally Pakistan.
“The lawyers of the victims pleaded that David be charged, but we contested it could not happen until we get complete documents on the case,” Davis’ lawyer, Zahid Hussain Bokhari, told Reuters.
“He is probably going to be charged with murder at the next hearing, which is on March 16.”
Before the next murder hearing, Davis has a hearing at the Lahore High Court on March 14 which could determine if he has diplomatic immunity and should be released.
Meanwhile, another American, identified as Aaron Mark DeHaven, arrested in the northwestern city of Peshawar for overstaying his visa, was released on 2 million rupees ($23,356.30) bail on Tuesday on the orders of a local court, jail officials said.
($1=85.25 Pakistani Rupee)
ISLAMABAD, March 7 (Xinhua) — While the United States once again called for immediate release of Raymond Davis who shot dead two Pakistanis, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Monday that the decision on whether Davis enjoys diplomatic immunity will be made by the court.
During a meeting with U.S. special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Marc Grossman, Gilani said that Pakistan’s stance on this issue is based on principles and there can be no negotiations on it, according to local TV channel DAWN news.
He said that the decision regarding Davis’ immunity will be made by the court and it should not affect bilateral ties between Pakistan and the U.S..
Gilani also urged the U.S. to provide the remaining amount of aid for Pakistan through the coalition support fund.
Gilani said that Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan and suggestions for sustainable peace in the region would be welcomed.
Grossman told the prime minister that the stalled aid for Pakistan will be provided very soon. He also appealed to Gilani to release Davis. Please read the entire story here
PESHAWAR: A Pakistani court granted bail on Monday to a US citizen said to have been working for a private security company and detained after he outstayed his Pakistani visa, court officials said.
Dawn.com Aaron Mark De Haven was arrested last month from a residential area in the northwestern city of Peshawar, close to the lawless tribal belt near the Afghan border.
“His bail application has been accepted,” additional district and sessions judge Altaf-ur-Rehman said in his order.
An earlier bail plea by De Haven was rejected last week, but the grant of bail came after an appeal and followed a lower court’s extension of his judicial remand until March 18.
“The US national has been ordered to submit a surety bond of two million rupees (about $23,500). His release orders will be issued soon after furnishing the surety bonds,” a court official said.
De Haven has been ordered not to leave the area without informing police until his case is concluded, the official added.
Relations between Pakistan and the United States are already strained over the arrest in late January of a CIA contractor identified as Raymond Davis, who has been charged with murder for shooting dead two men in Lahore.
The United States is demanding his release, insisting that Davis has diplomatic immunity.
Islamabad March 5, 2011
Two American experts arrived in Pakistan today to provide legal aid to a US embassy official on trial for shooting and killing two armed men in Lahore in January, according to media reports.
The detention of private security contractor Raymond Davis triggered a serious diplomatic row between Pakistan and the US and ties between intelligence agencies of the two countries have plunged to a new low.
The US hired three Pakistani lawyers to defend Davis, whose claim of diplomatic immunity has been rejected by a court in Lahore. Sensing that Pakistani courts will proceed against Davis, the US has now sent two legal experts to aid him, TV news channels reported.
The American experts will meet Davis at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore, where he is being held, and discuss the cases against him, the reports said. In addition, the experts will hold a meeting with the families of the men killed by Davis, the reports said.
The US is reportedly trying to seek a solution to Davis’ case under Islamic laws, which allow such matters to be settled through a “blood money” deal, sources close the families said.
The US diplomats have reportedly contacted the families and offered ‘diyat’ or compensation paid to the heirs of a dead person. The Pakistan government is under pressure from the US to free Davis but it is also facing internal pressure as opposition parties have demanded that he should be punished. Please read the entire story here
Lahore, 3 March (AKI) -The murder trial in Pakistan for American CIA contractor Raymond Davis will proceed even though the United States claims that he is covered by international conventions that should grant him diplomatic immunity, according to a Pakistani court in Lahore.