Pak says there was consensus among leadership on Davis issue

Days after suspected CIA contractor Raymond Davis was acquitted of double-murder charges.

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2011, 22:49 PM IST

Islamabad: Days after suspected CIA
contractor Raymond Davis was acquitted of double-murder
charges and freed, Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday
said there was consensus among the country`s leadership that
the matter involving the US national should be settled by the
courts.

"In the Raymond Davis case, the country`s leadership,
including the opposition, had reached a consensus that the
final decision would be taken by the court," Gilani said in a
brief statement issued by his office.

"This consensus was in line with the public sentiments at
large. The court decided in favour of the release of (Davis)
which has been implemented," he said.

Gilani said it would be "inappropriate" to hold any
single institution responsible for the final outcome of Davis`
case.

Davis, a 36-year-old former Special Forces soldier, was
arrested in Lahore on January 27 after he gunned down two
armed men. The case was complicated following reports that he
was a private security contractor working for the CIA and that
the two men he killed were affiliated with Pakistan`s ISI.

The American was pardoned and freed by a Pakistani court
on Wednesday after over two million dollars were paid to the
families of the dead men as "blood money" under Islamic laws.

However, Davis` release has triggered protests by
religious and radical groups, which are trying to capitalise
on growing anti-American sentiments.

Leaders of religious parties like the Jamaat-e-Islami and
some politicians have accused the government of selling out
Pakistan`s interests by freeing Davis.

PTI