Zardari 'pressurised' Punjab Govt. to declare Davis enjoyed diplomatic immunity: CM

Published: Friday, February 18, 2011, 17:25 [IST]

Lahore, Feb 18(ANI): Pakistan's Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif has said that President Asif Ali Zardari and Interior Minister Rehman Malik wanted him to declare that double murder-accused US national Raymond Davis enjoyed diplomatic immunity.

In an interview with a TV channel, Shahbaz talked about the pressure on the Punjab Government on the Davis issue, which, he said, could be judged from the recent statement of US President Barack Obama and the visit of US Senator John Kerry to the province.

Malik had called him on the night between 29th and 30th January, The Nation quoted Shahbaz, as saying.

According to the CM, the Interior Minister told him that the federal government was going to grant immunity to Davis, to which Shahbaz replied that the provincial government had taken his case to the court.

Following this conversation, an 'important personality from Islamabad' told him that Zardari wanted that Davis should be granted immunity, Shahbaz said.

He added that if the federal government wanted to give immunity to Davis, this could have been done on the very first day of the incident.

The CM further said that instead of surrendering to a superpower, it was better to accept an honourable death, and vowed that his government would not compromise on national honour.

Shahbaz said there could not be two standards of justice: one for the rich and other for the poor, and pointed out that the detained US official had killed two Pakistanis while a US consulate vehicle had crushed another innocent citizen while reportedly racing to Davis' aid.

He said that when the provincial government asked the US consulate to hand over the vehicle involved in the accident, it said that the Punjab government should better write to the federal government in this regard.

The Punjab government wrote five letters to the federal government on this matter but failed to get any response. Shahbaz added. (ANI)

 

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