With the Pakistani leadership leaving the issue of arrested American national Raymond Davis to be resolved by the courts, the U.S. has decided to present a petition in the Lahore High Court on Thursday to certify that he has diplomatic immunity and should, therefore, be released.
The U.S. will make this intervention in court despite being of the opinion that “the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations states that this [is] not a matter for local courts to decide''. Stating this at his daily briefing in Washington on Monday, Assistant Secretary of State, Philip J. Crowley, said the U.S. would provide the certification in the court on Thursday when the LHC is scheduled to examine several petitions relating to the case and the issue of diplomatic immunity.
While preparing for this intervention in court, the U.S. continued to insist that Pakistan certify Davis' diplomatic immunity and release him. “Pakistan has an obligation to certify that under the Vienna Convention,'' said Mr. Crowley.
Meanwhile, John Kerry, co-author of the “Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009” — better known as the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act — arrived in Pakistan late on Tuesday night to secure the early release of Davis who was arrested on January 27 for gunning down two “armed” Pakistanis in Lahore in “self-defence”.
The Senator flew in hours after Islamabad's fears of a budget cut owing to the stand-off were allayed in the U.S. Federal Budget wherein a sizable allocation has been set aside for Pakistan. According to the U. S. Embassy spokesperson, he is slated to meet the Pakistani leadership on Wednesday. “Senator Kerry is a strong supporter of U.S.-Pakistan partnership and he is coming as a friend to see how this issue can be resolved,” said the spokesperson.
In yet another effort to contain the damage this issue has caused to the image the U.S. is trying to build for itself in Pakistan, the embassy released details of the facilities provided to Davis in prison to counter reports suggesting Davis was misbehaving with jail officials and enjoying special treatment. The widow of one his two victims had committed suicide earlier this month protesting the “VIP treatment being given to him”.
According to U.S. Consul-General in Lahore, Carmela Conroy — who has visited him every day — Davis is being treated like a regular prisoner and under the same conditions as a Pakistani would be in such a high-security facility. As for the regular consular access that he has, she maintained that all foreign prisoners are entitled to this under international and Pakistani law.