US denies handing down threat to Pak Ambassador on Davis case

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Rezaul H Laskar

Islamabad, Feb 11 (PTI) The US today denied as "simplyinaccurate" an American media report that the Obamaadministration had threatened to evict Pakistan''s Ambassadorin Washington and call off President Asif Ali Zardari''supcoming visit if a US official arrested for murder is notreleased.

"ABC News carried a story regarding a conversation inWashington between senior US and Pakistani officials. Althoughwe are unable to discuss the substance of a private diplomaticmeeting, US Embassy Islamabad can state categorically that thedescription of the conversation in this report is simplyinaccurate," said a brief statement issued by the US Embassy''sspokesperson.

The report by ABC News had said that National SecurityAdvisor Tom Donilon told Pakistani Ambassador Hussain Haqqanion Monday that the US administration will "kick Haqqani out ofthe US", close US consulates in Pakistan and cancel anupcoming visit by President Zardari to Washington if USofficial Raymond Davis is not released from custody by Friday.

Haqqani too had denied the development via Twitter.

Davis, 36, was today sent to jail for 14 days by acourt in Lahore even as city police chief Aslam Tareen said hehad been charged with murder as there was no proof to back hisclaim that he had acted in self-defence when he shot andkilled the two men on January 27.

Davis has claimed that he opened fire after the twoarmed men followed his car and tried to rob him.

Pakistani leaders have rebuffed US demands for Davis''release on the grounds that he enjoys diplomatic immunity.

The stand-off between Washington and Islamabad overDavis has taken the tense relationship between the twocountries to a new low.

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