PPP upset over Qureshi''s remarks to media on Davis case

Rezaul H Laskar

Islamabad, Feb 13 (PTI) Pakistan''s ruling PPP is upsetby former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi''s stance thatUS official Raymond Davis could not be given diplomaticimmunity, with a federal minister saying that such remarkswill "create a bad environment in the country".

"Shah Mehmood had not shown his concerns when he wasForeign Minister and now these remarks about Davis are not infavour of the country," Information and Broadcasting MinisterFirdous Aashiq Awan told a TV news channel.

She said Qureshi''s statements about US national Davis''immunity will "create a bad environment in the country".

She said the Davis case is already in the court andthe government will accept the verdict given by the court.

The government will pursue the matter in court and notgo by the remarks of any individual, she said.

Besides, such issues can be debated in the PPP''smeetings and not in the media, said Awan, who was given theinformation portfolio after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilanidecided to downsize his cabinet last week.

Qureshi skipped the swearing-in ceremony for the newcabinet on Friday after he learnt that the Pakistan People''sParty leadership had decided not to reallocate the foreignaffairs portfolio to him.

He was quoted by The News daily today as saying that,according to official records and experts in the ForeignOffice, Davis is "not a diplomat and cannot be given blanketdiplomatic immunity".

Davis was arrested in Lahore on January 27 after heshot and killed two men who he claimed were trying to rob him.

Reports have suggested that the PPP decided to removeQureshi from the foreign ministry because of his decision notto back the party''s top leadership''s move to grant diplomaticimmunity to Davis.

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