US President Barack Obama weighed in on spat, insisting that detained official, Raymond Davis, enjoyed diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention and should be released at once. Speaking at White House press conference, the US president said, Washington respects envoys and expects Islamabad to uphold the Geneva Convention governing would diplomats status and recongnise Davis as a diplomat.
Following the statement by former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi that he was dropped from the new Cabinet because of his principled position on the question of diplomatic immunity to the killer, several PPP leaders directed their guns towards him and adopted a stance that was seen by majority of people of Pakistan as an attempt to defend the American. And on Monday, PPP’s Information Secretary Fauzia Wahab crossed all limits by claiming on the beat of the drum that the killer enjoyed diplomatic immunity, raising questions about the real intentions of the ruling Party on the issue that has overwhelmed the entire nation because of its gravity and perversity. Sensing the damage that Fauzia did to the Party by churning out uncanny remarks, Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar quickly came out with a clarification that these were personal views of Fauzia and had nothing to do with Party policy. The timely notice taken by the spokesman helped dilute the fury that was brewing up across the country over these senseless remarks. No doubt, the issue has assumed many dimensions but it is also relevant to point out that the Government is mishandling the entire episode as a result of which it is becoming more complex with the passage of time. Apart from Americans who issue statements after statements aimed at browbeating Pakistan on the controversy, the Government has also allowed all and sundry to make statements on the issue despite the fact that it is sub judice. If Foreign Secretary believes that it is for the High Court to determine the question of immunity then who is Fauzia Wahab to give a conclusive opinion. Such statements are, in no way, serving the cause of Pakistan-US relationship but creating more obstacles in resolving the issue in an amicable manner.