Editorial : After Davis - Friday, March 18, 2011

Source : http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/18/after-davis.html

RAYMOND Davis has escaped his self-induced Pakistani nightmare, leaving behind his unhappy hosts to fight various sets of incongruous realities. In a democracy, a high-profile murder suspect has been allowed to get away without the rulers feeling the need or having the strength to share with the people their understanding of the compelling circumstances. As public perceptions go, these rulers are subservient to the wishes of the real powers that risk crudely breaking a few minor rules of their own. They are readying themselves to live up to the US prediction of even more friend- ly ties with `Pakistan` — at a growing distance from the Pakistan comprising shades of people with various wishes and grievances. The two Pakistans are not easy to reconcile. The Davis episode has made reconciliation more difficult.
A sudden solution was found on Wednesday when a court especially set up inside the Kot Lakhpat jail accepted clemency affidavits signed by the heirs of the two victims of the mysterious CIA contractor. The governments in Punjab and Islamabad have subsequently explained they had no role in a release dictated by the law. However, a few days earlier, the heirs had alleged that the Punjab government was trying to seal an agreement between the accused and the aggrieved for the release of Mr Davis. The disappearance of the heirs now will be exploited by those who claim that not only were the heirs paid a huge sum, they were also intimidated into signing a deal. Some legal issues remain. The federal government on Wednesday could not explain how a man on the ECL was allowed to leave the country — even if he had legal documents proving he had been pardoned by the complainants in a criminal case.
These are not the only ironies. The Americans readily gave up their `diplomatic immunity` mantra to settle for the release of Mr Davis in accordance with the same Islamic laws they have often criticised. Similarly, the religious parties are now in a position where faith-based justifications can no longer buttress their protests against the release which was procured under the Diyat laws. Meanwhile, protesters are vowing to free their country from the imperial yoke, but do not appear to be perturbed by the existence of a law that the rich can exploit at will. While no one is ruling out coercion in the sudden closure of the double case, it is not for the first time that a resourceful man has been accused of buying his clemency under the existing laws in a country dominated by all kinds of hypocrites and selective-rights protesters.

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