A look at complex CIA-ISI ties through Raymond Davis saga

 

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Religious groups in Pakistan had demanded a death penalty for Davis

 

03 July 2017 |Shamil Shams | DW

“Ex-CIA contractor Raymond Davis’ recently-published book, “The Contractor: How I Landed in a Pakistani Prison and Ignited a Diplomatic Crisis,” has caused an uproar in Pakistan and angered the country’s security and intelligence officials.

Davis (below), who was arrested on the charges of murdering two Pakistani citizens during a shoot-out in the eastern city of Lahore, narrates the story of his detention and subsequent release from prison, alleging that Pakistan’s then spy chief Shuja Pasha facilitated his acquittal from a court case.

Davis had spent seven weeks in a Pakistani jail and his case triggered a serious diplomatic crisis between Islamabad and Washington. Religious groups in Pakistan had demanded a death penalty for Davis and the public opinion back then was also in favor of a proper trial against the former CIA contractor.

But then all of a sudden Davis was freed under the Islamic law of qisas and diyat (blood money for the victims’ families).

In his memoir, Davis claims that the military’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) orchestrated his exit.

“Several guards led me out of the courtroom through a back entrance. … One of the men opened the door, stepped out into a courtyard, and scanned the horizon … once he’d cleared the area, I was waved through door and directed to the SUV idling in the courtyard,” Davis says.

“Pasha (then ISI chief) understood how important it was – for both sides – to get me out of Pakistan as soon as possible, but like his country’s president and prime minister, he was happy to let me remain in jail until an acceptable solution to this increasingly vexing problem could be found,” Davis continues.

Davis’ book has created a political storm in the Islamic country, mainly because it “exposes” the role of the ISI in his release. Anti-American sentiment runs high in Pakistan, and many experts say the Pakistani army allows it for strategic reasons.

But the accusations that the army itself allowed a CIA operative accused of murdering Pakistani citizens to leave the country have embarrassed the military. In the aftermath of Davis’ release in 2011, pro-army political commentators were critical of former President Asif Ali Zardari and his government’s alleged role in Davis’ acquittal.

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