The United States consulate staffer who gunned down two Pakistanis in “self-defence” in Lahore on Thursday has been booked for murder and remanded to police custody for six days by a city court on Friday amid seething anger over the “Rambo-like” behaviour of the American.
The staffer — whose name still remains uncertain as Assistant Secretary of State Philip J. Crowley said in his daily briefing in Washington that the name Raymond Davis/David being reported in the media was not correct — was taken to court in handcuffs. He is said to have told the court that he feared for his life and wanted to seek pardon from the families of the two men he shot dead.
The American has told the police that he acted in self-defence as they accosted him with guns at a traffic intersection. Meanwhile, according to Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore has promised to hand over the driver of the second vehicle which ran over a pedestrian as it rushed to the assistance of “Raymond Davis”.
With suspicion rife that the government may succumb to U.S. pressure and let off the guilty lightly, the federal and provincial governments went on record to assure the nation that action would be taken against the guilty as per the law of the land. A case has also been registered against him for carrying an unlicenced weapon as questions are being asked why he was carrying a gun and what he was doing in Qurtaba Chowk; since Americans are advised to restrict their movements in view of the anti-Americanism prevalent nation-wide.
Barring a terse two-line statement, the U.S. Embassy maintained a studied silence. “A staff member of the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore was involved in an incident yesterday that regrettably resulted in the loss of life. The U.S. Embassy is working with Pakistani authorities to determine the facts and work toward a resolution,” said the statement and was repeated by its spokesman on several television channels since Thursday evening.
The embassy also refused to provide any details of the staffer including whether he was part of the diplomatic corps and enjoyed immunity. His job profile remained unclear as no details were forthcoming from the embassy while the Pakistani media reports suggested he was an undercover agent. What has made the American's version of firing in self-defence difficult to believe for most Pakistanis is the number of times he shot at the two men and reports that he fired them in the back also.