US "continues to encourage" Pak Govt. to 'release' double murder-accused diplomat

Washington, Feb 3(ANI): Despite Pakistan's snub to the US demand for the double murder accused diplomat's immediate release, the United States' "continues to encourage" the Pakistan Government to free him on the 'immunity' ground.

"There's no change on the ground. We continue to encourage the Government of Pakistan to respect his diplomatic immunity and to release him," US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip J. Crowley said during a press briefing, when asked to give an update on the matter.

Responding to a question that Pakistan's Supreme Court "has put some restrictions on him and are you sending any strong message to Pakistani Government," Crowley replied: "Yes. We are in constant contact with the Government of Pakistan."

Three people were killed last Thursday when US diplomat Raymond Davis opened fire on motorcycle riders and hit another with his car in an attempt to escape from the scene at Mazang Chowk in Lahore.

Subsequently, the US Embassy in Pakistan had called for the immediate release of the double murder-accused US diplomat, who the embassy said was "unlawfully detained by authorities in Lahore."

However, rebuffing the United States' demand for the immediate release of the accused US national, Pakistan said the matter was sub-judice and the legal process should be respected.

"This matter is sub-judice in a court of law and the legal process should be respected," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abdul Basit was quoted, as saying in a statement. (ANI)

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