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ہفتہ، 29 جنوری، 2011

US persona non grata kills Pakistanis

 Pakistan`s foreign policy managers expect the US to come up 

with a request of diplomatic immunity for Raymond Davis, but 

 it is almost impossible for Islamabad to accet any such demand 

owing to the rising anti Americanism across the country.


IN a classic example of American arrogance and colonial mindset, a US national, who is an undercover spy, working as technical advisor at the Lahore Consulate General, killed three Pakistanis and injured several others, sparking widespread protests in the provincial metropolis and condemnation from across the country. Raymond Davis’ action is nothing but a brazen crime and terrorist act of the worst order by the citizen of a country that claims to be fighting the war on terror.

It is highly unfortunate that the dastardly incident took place at a time when state-run television was showing an interaction of US Ambassador Cameron Munter with a select group of Pakistani students as part of his public diplomacy to counter, what he believes, misperceptions about his country. Thursday’s terrorist act is a grim reminder of the fact that you can’t bridge trust deficit or mould public opinion in your favour by mere statements and verbal assurances when your actions speak otherwise. It is policies and actions that shape opinion and we have seen for many years that Washington has negative, discriminatory and hateful approach towards Pakistan and that is why anti-Americanism is on the rise. This is not for the first time that an American national has indulged in crime against Pakistanis as there were a number of incidents in the past as well in different parts of the country especially in Lahore and Islamabad where US officials behaved crudely and entered into altercation even with police officers. This not only amounts to trampling of the country’s sovereignty and challenging the writ of the State but also constitutes misuse of the diplomatic immunity under Geneva Convention. All this is happening because of the meek attitude of our leaders, who miserably failed to uphold dignity of the country, encouraging likes of Raymond Davis to do whatever they like as if it is not a formal country but a mere jungle where no laws and rules prevail. There are reports that the culprit previously served as an operative in Peshawar and was declared persona non grata because of his questionable activities. We wonder how and why Pakistan Embassy in Washington again issued visa to a person who was declared persona non grata. Does it mean lack of coordination among the State institutions or deliberate attempt on the part of some people to allow spies and criminals to enter the country, kill people and do things to destabilize Pakistan? American Embassy and some Pakistani officials are understandably trying to justify the firing at and crushing of people by Raymond on the plea that those killed were, in fact, dacoits and the agent acted in self-defence. But eyewitnesses and circumstantial evidence clearly suggest that the victims were innocent people with no criminal record against them and it was an act of terrorism in every sense of the word. Public anger over this shocking incident is valid and a judicial inquiry should be ordered to find out the truth and till then the killer must not be allowed to slip out of the country in the garb of diplomatic immunity, which is not and should not be available to murderers.
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