ISLAMABAD: A lawyer has filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking information about the $2.4 million in blood money that was paid to families of two men killed by American defence contractor Raymond Davis in 2011.

The payment was made after Davis killed two men while employed by the US military in Pakistan.

The petitioner, Tariq Asad, has asked whether the sum was paid by the contractor, the US government or another party.

The petitioner has named former chief of army staff retired Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general retired Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, former interior minister Rehman Malik and the secretaries of defence and interior as respondents.

The counsel alleged that blood money was paid by Pakistani authorities from the public treasury.

Petition before IHC seeks action on the basis of revelations contained in US military contractor’s memoir

Calling Davis “an American terrorist”, Mr Asad alleged that he had shot and killed two men – Faizan Haider and Faheem Shamshad – on Qartaba Chowk in Lahore, and a US consulate driver trying to rescue Davis, hit a biker, Ubadur Rehman, while driving recklessly and killed him on the spot.

Mr Asad claimed the federal government and other respondents “rescued the culprit and manoeuvred to save his life by paying blood money to the legal heirs of deceased in an unlawful manner”, adding that reconciliation deals are not supposed to be “enforced”.

He said that in case of forgiveness by the legal heirs of the deceased, the convict has to pay blood money, but Mr Davis revealed the alleged role of Pakistan’s former ISI chief in quashing the murder trial in his book The Contractor.

He said the contents of the book made it clear that the US initially attempted to secure diplomatic immunity for Davis, but he was later released after the legal heirs of the deceased were forced to accept blood money and forgive him.

In his book, the petitioner said, Davis alleged that Lt Gen Pasha, former CIA director Leon Panetta and Pakistan’s political leadership and judiciary assisted in his acquittal.

Mr Asad claims the US has admitted that Davis was a CIA operative on an espionage mission, a former member of the special forces and was working for the private security firm known as Xe Services or Blackwater.

The petitioner argued that Mr Davis’ entry into Pakistan and the killings were allowed by a foreign policy prejudicial to the security, integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan, which included the granting of 3,000 visas without clearance from intelligence agencies and allowing for a huge US Embassy building to be constructed in Islamabad.

“Then-President Asif Zardari, prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Interior Minister, Rehman Malik are responsible for it,” he stated.

Mr Asad asked the court to summon the entire case record and determine who made the payment and met other expenses, adding that the individuals responsible for committing the illegal act should be dealt with in accordance with the law.

He asked the court to direct the relevant authorities to proceed against Mr Malik and the others responsible for granting visas to US contractors without clearance.

Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2017

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