Case of American official would be decided by courts: Pak

Rezaul H Laskar

Islamabad, Feb 17 (PTI) Pakistan today said it hadinformed the US that the case of an American official arrestedfor killing two men would be decided by the courts even as theUS envoy expressed disappointment at the government''s failureto certify the functionary''s diplomatic immunity.

The government has told US Senator John Kerry � whowas sent to Pakistan by the Obama administration to calmtensions over the issue of US official Raymond Davis � incategorical terms that the matter is sub-judice and only thecourts will decide the American''s fate, Information MinisterFirdous Awan said after a meeting of the cabinet.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and other Pakistanileaders made it clear to Kerry that just as Pakistan cannotinterfere in the judicial process of other countries, no othercountry too can interfere in the affairs of Pakistan''sjudiciary, Awan told reporters.

Davis was arrested in Lahore last month after he shotand killed two men who he said were trying to rob him.

Police have rejected Davis'' claim that he acted inself-defence and accused him of murder.

The federal government today informed the Lahore HighCourt that it needs more time to establish Davis'' diplomaticstatus.

The court, which is hearing several petitions relatedto Davis'' case, put off the matter till March 14.

Reacting to the developments in the High Court,Ambassador Cameron Munter said the US is "disappointed thatthe government of Pakistan did not certify that Raymond Davishas diplomatic immunity".

The US has repeatedly insisted that Davis has immunity.

"Senator Kerry''s visit to Pakistan manifested ourintention to work with the government of Pakistan to resolvethis issue. As the Senator said during his visit, we want towork together as two countries that have a common interest inthe same goal and find a path forward," Munter said.

However, Information Minister Awan said the"government was not an aggrieved party" in the case and onlythe relatives of the men killed by Davis could consider theoption of pardoning him.

The law enforcement agencies of Punjab province arehandling Davis'' case and the federal government iscoordinating with them, she said.

The cabinet discussed Davis'' case during its meetingand decided to facilitate the courts in handling the matter,she added.

"It should be ensured that no one else interferes inthe courts'' proceedings so that they can decide the matter,"Awan said. .

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