US House of Representatives & Immunity of Raymond Davis

US House of Representatives & Immunity of Raymond Davis


Saleem I. Janjua[1]

A bill titled “H. Res. 145: Calling on the Government of Pakistan to release Raymond Davis” has been presented before the House of Representatives on March 3, 2011. This bill was sponsored by Dana Rohrabacher a US Representative, California’s 46th District. The purpose of presenting this bill in the house is very clear which is about the release of Raymond Davis, who is charged in the murder of two citizens of Pakistan.

The facts which are stated in this bill need to be analyzed in the light of actual incident happened in Lahore and applicable national and international legislations. Before going into detail, it is expedient to elaborate the object of this bill which is “Calling on the government of Pakistan to release Raymond Davis”. There are a number of facts which are given in the bill to support the object of this bill. These are: on 27 January, 2011, Raymond Davis was attacked by two armed men in Lahore, Pakistan, Raymond Davis shot and killed both men in self-defense, Raymond Davis is a United States veteran and former special forces solider, President Barack Obama called Raymond Davis “our diploamate” and said that “we expect Pakistan … [to recognize] Mr. Davis as a diplomate, Pakistan is among the world’s leading recipients of United States aid having received more than $ 10, 700, 000 between FY 2001 and FY 2010, which included $ 6, 000, 000, 000 in development and humanitarian aid, in a Los Angeles Times article published on September 22,2009, the then-top United States commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, accused ISI elements of materially aiding insurgent groups that attacked coalition forces in Afghanistan and  resolved that the House of Representatives call on the Government of Pakistan to release Raymond Davis in accordance with international standards of diplomatic protocol and, until such time, all United States monetary assistance to Pakistan should be frozen.

The important fact which needs to be mentioned here is that these two citizens were neither the armed men nor the invaders. If he was attacked and in respond to this attacked he killed two so called invaders than the plea of self defense whether available to him or not is not the duty of the United States to decide and in result thereof to direct the Government of Pakistan to release Raymond Davis. It is the duty of the Courts of Pakistan to decide this matter in the light of the applicable laws and facts of the case of Raymond Davis. The undue influence from the Government of United States to release the Raymond Davis creates a number of doubts in the minds of the people of Pakistan. The United States should remain silent on this issue until this matter will be decided by the Court of Pakistan.

The issue with regard to the position of Raymond Davis is very clear from the statement of U.S. speakers that he is not a diplomat. It is pertinent to mention here that he is not fulfilling the requirement of calling a diplomat or a consular or even the immuned staff according to the definitions given in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 and Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 than a question arises how does the President Barak Obama call him a diplomat and expect the same from Government of Pakistan. No one can become a diplomat or if than the immunities and privileges which are available to a diplomat wouldn’t be extended to this diplomat.

It is not the focal issue (recipients of aid) of today discussion and also irrelevant to comment on this because the amount which was given to Pakistan under different heads and use thereof were directed and determined solely by the United States.

The demand and threat which is also going to be made from and on Government of Pakistan to release Raymond Davis in accordance with international standards of diplomatic protocol and, until such time, all U.S. monetary assistance to Pakistan should be frozen. The Government of Pakistan will release Raymond Davis if the courts of Pakistan before whom the case is pending for adjudication decided that Raymond Davis has been immuned from any civil or criminal liability under the provisions of applicable laws of Pakistan.

The bill is in the first step in the legislative process. It is referred to the House Committee on foreign affairs on March 3, 2011.

Hopefully, the people of United States will defend and condemn this bill. The provisions of this bill up to the extent of immunity of Raymond Davis are against the provisions of the international standards of diplomatic protocol.

[1] The writer is an advocate working as an associate with International Legal Services headed by Dr. Tariq Hassan. Email: [email protected]

Source by M Saleem Iqbal Janjua