Taliban warns Pak govt against releasing detained American

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A Muhammad

Peshawar, Feb 13 (PTI) The Taliban today warned thePakistan government not to release US national Raymond Davis,arrested after he shot dead two men in Lahore last month,saying any official involved in a move to free him would bekilled by militants.

"Any Pakistani government official playing any role inDavis'' release will be killed by the Taliban," said AzamTariq, the spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

"The people of Pakistan should stand up againstefforts being made for the release of the American killer. Thecase of Davis should be decided in accordance with Shariah(Islamic law)," Tariq told PTI on phone from an undisclosedlocation.

The Taliban have also demanded that Davis should beexecuted by the authorities or handed over to militants whowould decide his fate. Davis was arrested in Lahore on January27 after he gunned down two armed men he claimed were tryingto rob him. A third Pakistani was killed by a US consulatevehicle rushing to aid Davis.

Tariq claimed the case of Davis was a "big challenge"for the Taliban. He warned that lawyers defending Davis, thejudge hearing the case, politicians supporting his release andsecurity forces would face "dire consequences" if they did notgive up their efforts.

"We will kill the supporters of Raymond Davis one byone. According to Shariah, he should be eliminated. He iskiller of Muslims and, as such, his release is impossible. Hemay be released under Pakistani laws, which are un-Islamic andwe don''t accept them," Tariq said.

The Taliban will continue their struggle against all"secular forces", he said. "We consider democracy ''kufr'' andthose supporting it are promoting un-Islamic values insociety," he said.

The shooting incident in Lahore has triggered adiplomatic crisis between the US and Pakistan. Repeated USdemands for Davis to be freed on the ground of diplomaticimmunity have been rebuffed by Pakistan''s top leaders.

Talks between the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan set forthis month have been put off and American lawmakers havewarned that the row could affect civil and military aid forIslamabad.

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