Davis case has thrown overboard America’s rules on terrorism
By Brig Asif Haroon Raja
As per Paul Craig Robert, hypocrisy in America is now so commonplace it is no longer noticed. While it enjoys torturing other peoples for American sins, it objects to human rights abuses of countries it despises such as Burma, Pakistan, Iran, Syria. In USA if a person tortures a dog he is sent to jail, but a government functionary indulging in torture against fellow beings is ignored.
The US has destroyed two Muslim countries and acutely lacerated the third Muslim country under the plea of curbing terrorism and making the world peaceful but its own track record shows that it is the leading terrorist state. It not only indulges in state terrorism but also foments terrorism through clandestine black operations in other countries. While the US has put the entire Muslim world on the chopping block, it considers its own executioners above law.
Hypocrisy and double standards of the US came in full spotlight when one of leading CIA’s agent Raymond Allen Davis, a former green beret working for State Department, was arrested by Lahore police after he shot dead two motorcyclists Faheem and Faizan with his 9mm semi-automatic Glock pistol in broad daylight on 27 January. 47 eye-witnesses recorded their statements saying that they saw Davis continuing to shoot at the two after they had turned to flee. Both were repeatedly hit in the back; hence question of self-defence didn’t arise. Davis stated that he shot them not because they had menaced him with guns but because he believed that they were armed.
The speeding back up SUV of US Consulate in Lahore which he summoned for his rescue trampled to death another motorcyclist Ibadur Rehman. Instead of attending to him, the driver who was driving recklessly on the wrong side of the road chose to slip away. Davis has been charge sheeted and his case is in the court while the driver and other occupants of second vehicle have reportedly secretly flown back to USA. Punjab government had written five letters to Consul General Ms Carmella Conroy while Lahore Police had tried hard to gain access to the accused but were denied.
Davis case has locked up USA and Pakistan in a diplomatic row. The incident has thrown overboard all rules framed by USA on terrorism and abetment to terrorism after 9/11. The whole Muslim world as well as Muslims residing in USA and eastern countries were hounded, humiliated, persecuted and killed on the plea of terrorism for over nine years. Hearts of American rulers have not softened even after massacring over two million Muslims, inflicting inhuman torture to the detainees in prisons, destroying their homes, hearths and their means of livelihood. Spree of death and destruction is still continuing unabated since the fire of revenge over faked 9/11 is still burning intensely. Ironically rules on terrorism applied on the Muslims are not applicable to USA, western world, Israel and India.
State terrorism by USA, Israel and India and their uncanny fondness for secret wars are not covered under punishable acts of terrorism. Drone attacks enjoy immunity and so does Raymond Davis like killers who are behind most terrorist attacks in Pakistan. Reportedly Davis was the chief coordinator and intelligence provider for drone attacks. This is evident from the fact that after the last drone attack in North Waziristan on 23 January, the next one took place on 21 February. Davis arrest had disturbed the whole network and it took CIA one month to reassemble the network under another Davis.
America has provided licenses to kill to its soldiers and secret agents and desires Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, the three most affected countries to grant full immunity to all US nationals. Musharraf regime as well as current regime had given their consent on the quiet but now that the ruling regime is in dire straits; and the Army and ISI have adopted principled stand on national security matters, the US is finding it difficult to have its own way and is off colors. Sacked foreign minister Qureshi is another disappointment for the US as well as for Zardari since he defied American and PPP leadership pressure. He stood his ground asserting that he would not give a certificate about Davis immunity since according to foreign office record he was not entitled to it. He fell from the US and Zardari’s grace and lost his seat but enhanced his stature among he people.
Davis is a confirmed CIA agent and is on a special mission to harm Pakistan. He had served in Special Forces for ten years after which he opened a security company at Las Vegas Nevada with fake addresses. He was sent to Pakistan as a security contractor under the aegis of Blackwater in 2007 and was attached with US Consulate in Peshawar. During his two years stay he developed contacts in North and South Waziristan and made frequent trips. It was in Waziristan that he got addicted to Naswar (intoxicant) which he still loves to have. He was also in regular contact with Xe Services compound at Chinar road University Town which housed several black colored armored Chevys. Davis was declared persona non-grata twice because of his suspicious activities. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was rocked with maximum terrorist attacks during his stay. After he moved to Lahore Consulate in 2009, Lahore became turbulent.
While Davis has confessed his crime, the driver and occupants of back up SUV are runaway proclaimed offenders. Carmella comes under the felony of harboring the accused, refusing to hand them over to police and then facilitating their escape. She is also responsible for the conduct of Davis since he was employed under her. The framers of terrorism laws have themselves got caught up in the jumble of their own laws. Instead of feeling ashamed, Obama downwards are all breathing over the neck of already harassed rulers of Pakistan to immediately free Davis or face the consequences.
They are brandishing both stick and carrot and also trying to buy over the family members of the deceased. Senator Kerry was here to mesmerize our leaders by his sweet talk and take along Davis or as a minimum force Pakistan leadership to bend its rules, over look court jurisdiction and raised emotions of the people and hurt sentiments of the aggrieved family members of three victims and grant Davis diplomatic immunity. His abortive mission has made US leaders glum faced. Resignedly they say that the US popularity in Pakistan which had shown some improvement in the aftermath of floods has again slumped. It is intriguing that top US leadership is exerting so much pressure on Pakistan for a low-ranking security contractor and fails to understand that even diplomatic immunity doesn’t become a safety valve for those involved in serious crimes.
Had Davis committed this crime in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or Balochistan, he would have been killed by the people on the spot. At the same time I may add that had this crime been committed in Islamabad or in any of the smaller provinces and survived the wrath of the on spot crowd, Davis would have flown out by now. The US leaders must be direly missing Gen Musharraf and PCO judges and cursing Shabaz Sharif. Had Musharraf been in command, Davis would have been freed on 28th January.
Detained Davis has become a ticking bomb for Pakistan. His safety till completion of his trial which will take a considerable length of time has become an utmost concern for law enforcement agencies in Lahore. There are possibilities he could be swooped away by the US Special Forces already secretly positioned in Pakistan through a sting operation. RAW could play a dirty role in harming him to put Pakistan in another tight corner. Fearful of Davis divulging CIA’s clandestine operations in Pakistan, the CIA could get him bumped off. Anti-American militant groups based in Pakistan may attempt to kill him in case they feel that he is being freed without a trial.
Davis himself is becoming nervy and has reportedly refused to have his meals since he desires Mexican food and removal of camera which enables the police to keep a watch on him. Once he finds that the US government has been unable to rescue him he may attempt to harm himself. In each case the blame would come on Pakistan government. The US has categorically stated that it will hold Pakistan fully responsible for his safety. If he is released under pressure of USA, it could trigger serious law and order situation and possibly Tunis, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen like uprising.
Heavens have not fallen after the postponement of tripartite meeting in Washington. Pakistan will not collapse if Zardari’s visit to Washington is postponed, or the US blocks aid or Obama cancels his visit to Pakistan. Pakistan has gone through much worst testing times and is even now suffering despite American aid. What is important to understand by our leaders is that under the changed geo political environment in Afghanistan; the US needs Pakistan as much as Pakistan needs American financial support. The US has assured that Davis affair irrespective of its strong reservations will not strain Pak-US relations. Unfinished war on terror has compulsively made the US glued to Pakistan irrespective of its strong disliking. Hence, we should not make any compromises and let the law run its full course. At the same time, Pakistan should get rid of about 1100 Davis like noxious CIA agents roaming freely at the earliest.
Brig Asif Haroon Raja, a Member Board of Advisors Opinion Maker is Staff College and Armed Forces War Coursequalified, holds MSc war studies degree; a second generation officer, he fought epic battle of Hilli in northwest East Bengal during 1971 war, in which Maj M. Akram received Nishan-e-Haider posthumously. He served as Directing Staff Command & Staff College, Defence Attaché Egypt and Sudan and Dean of Corps of Military Attaches in Cairo. He commanded the heaviest brigade in Kashmir. He is lingual and speaks English, Pashto and Punjabi fluently. He is author of books titled ‘Battle of Hilli’, ‘1948, 1965 & 1971 Kashmir Battles and Freedom Struggle’, ‘Muhammad bin Qasim to Gen Musharraf’, Roots of 1971 Tragedy’; has written number of motivational pamphlets. Draft of his next book ‘Tangled Knot of Kashmir’ is ready. He is a defence analyst and columnist and writes articles on security, defence and political matters for numerous international/national newspapers/websites.