Islamabad: Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha has revealed that double murder-accused CIA contractor Raymond Davis was handed over to the United States on orders of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.
The fatal killings by Davis on January 27 in Lahore had ignited a furore in Pakistan, where anti-Americanism already runs high, and the under-pressure government kept on reiterating that the case against Davis was sub-judice and that only the court should decide on this matter.
The US, adamant on getting its citizen released, intensified its pressure on Pakistan, with US lawmakers threatening to cut aid to Islamabad unless it freed him.
On March 16 - the same day when he was indicted for double murder - Davis was freed and quickly flown out of Pakistan after the heirs of the two victims told a local court that they had accepted compensation, bringing the one and a half month-long saga to an abrupt end.
According to a Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) parliamentarian, the ISI director general told the in-camera joint sitting of the Pakistan Parliament that Davis was handed over to Washington on orders of the Pakistani leadership, The News reports.
“We advised the government to resolve the issue. But we did what we were finally asked by the President and the Prime Minister to do,” Senator Mushahidullah quoted Pasha, as saying.
The Raymond Davis issue figured when Pasha faced critical inquires from Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) parliamentarian Fauzia Wahab, besides the PML-N’s Mushahidullah and Anusha Rehman.
“Pasha initially tried to evade the questions, but later said the ISI has acted on the advice of the Prime Minister and the President,” confirmed another MNA.
However, he left related questions untouched, such as who paid the blood money, where the deal was done and the present whereabouts of the families, thereby confirming the suspicions already lingering in the mind of the Pakistani public and politicians.
Senator Mushahidullah recounted several relevant and revolutionary couplets from the works of different poets including Habib Jalib and others to buttress his arguments.
He asked Pasha who paid the blood money (Diyat), where its recipients are now and how Davis was sent out of Pakistan when his passport is still with the Punjab government.
Mushahidullah said that when no response was given to his questions, he repeated them and ultimately got the reply.