Pak assures Kerry of no espionage charges against Davis, no custody of other US accused

Published: Saturday, February 19, 2011, 19:35 [IST]
 

Islamabad, Feb 19(ANI): Pakistani authorities have assured US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John F. Kerry that double murder-accused American official Raymond Davis will not be tried on espionage charges.

This is notwithstanding the fact that Davis has admitted during the course of investigation that he was involved in spying in Pakistan, The Express Tribune reports.ources say that the police have a recorded a confessional statement made by Davis.

Earlier this week, Kerry had a whirlwind tour of Pakistan to try to "help tone down the rhetoric and reaffirm the US partnership with Pakistan'' in the wake of the Davis detention issue, which seems to be taking its toll on already strained US-Pak relations.

According to sources, Kerry was also assured that Islamabad would not demand the custody of the three US nationals, who were in a Prado jeep that had crushed to death a Pakistani citizen- Ibadur Rehman- while rushing to rescue Davis after he shot dead two young motorcyclists in a busy marketplace of Lahore on January 27.

The Punjab police and intelligence officials, however, claim that they have strong evidence suggesting that the three men are also 'high-profile spies' like Davis.

"The evidence was provided by Davis in his confessional statement during investigation," a senior police official was quoted, as saying on the condition of anonymity, adding, "We have concluded that a gang of American spies is active in Punjab and other parts of the country."

The official also said that besides Davis' confessional statement, "we have every reason to believe that the three absconding persons were his collaborators."

"They must be involved in spying like Davis. If this was not the case why did they flee the crime scene in panic? In their panic, they had crushed to death a motorcyclist under their SUV while fleeing the scene," he added.

Investigators believe that the three American nationals who had come to Davis's rescue are also US spies, and that they had come to the scene to take safe custody of secret documents and photographs from Davis.

"We have every reason to believe that Davis had called the three men to collect the 'material', which is now in the possession of police," the official said.

The senior police official also questioned why nobody was demanding diplomatic immunity for the three absconders, if they were members of the US mission in Pakistan.

"This criminal silence on the part of the Americans shows there is something fishy," the official said, adding that he believed that the mounting US pressure for Davis' release from detention in Lahore was aimed at covering the three 'agents'.

Meanwhile, according to an ABC News report, a senior US official has said that the absconding car driver as well another US official involved in the incident have slipped out of Pakistan, and are back on American soil. (ANI)


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