Thursday, March 17, 2011

Smoke and mirrors over US-Pakistan blood money deal - Raymond Davis

Washington: The United States on Wednesday insisted that it did not pay any compensation in the form of blood money to families of the victims allegedly killed by a CIA contractor even as the episode is said to have resulted in re-ordering intelligence ties between Washington and Islamabad.
Supporters of Pakistan's Jamaat-e-Islami burn tyres while demonstrating
 against the release of Davis in Peshawar on Thursday
US secretary of state Hillary Clinton rejected reports that Washington had paid any compensation despite statements and documentary proof emerging from Pakistan that CIA contractor Raymond Davis was pardoned and freed after the victims’ families received blood money under Sharia law. The law allows members of a murdered victim’s family to pardon a killer in return for monetary compensation. It later transpired that Clinton was technically correct. The money was paid by the Pakistani government in a deal purportedly brokered by the Saudis, with expectations that Islamabad would be reimbursed. Davis was spirited out of Pakistan within hours of the deal.
The episode has also resulted in both sides agreeing to review intelligence operating procedures, something Islamabad demanded in return for engineering Davis’ release. Operating as an undercover diplomat, Davis was said to be part of a US intelligence team that was tracking the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba and its ties with the Pakistani establishment. The ISI demanded and has reportedly received an assurance from Washington that the CIA would keep it in the loop about its intelligence activities in Pakistan, despite the suspicion that the ISI uses LeT terrorist proxies as a matter of policy, which is what the US team was spooring in the first place when Davis got into the bloody shoot-out. The ISI is also said to have demanded Washington recognize Pakistan’s stakes in Afghanistan.

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