US says Pak not adhering to international law on diplomats

Lalit K JhaWashington, Feb 21 (PTI) Contending that Pakistan wasviolating international laws by holding American officialRaymond Davis, the US today sought his immediate release underthe clauses of the Vienna Convention that make him eligiblefor diplomatic immunity.

"He has diplomatic immunity and needs to be releasedas soon as possible," State Department spokesman P J Crowleydemanded today.

While maintaining that it is currently pursuing theissue through diplomatic talks, the US did not rule outapproaching the International Court of Justice to get Davisreleased or to resort to any other course of action.

However, at this point of time, the US is notreviewing the option of any cut in the military and civilianaid to Pakistan because of this stand-off between the twocountries, Crowley said.

"This morning Prime Minister Gilani spoke to thePakistan Parliament and he indicated that in Pakistani viewthere are differences of opinion between Pakistan and theUnited States in the case of Mr Davis on the issue ofinterpretation and applicability of international and nationallaws," Crowley told reporters in a conference call hours afterGilani spoke in Islamabad.

"We still believe earnestly that Mr Davis is a memberof the administrative and technical staff of the embassy inIslamabad and is entitled to full immunity from criminalprosecution and should not be arrested or detained. We wouldcontinue to work with Pakistan to resolve any differences thatwe have on this issue," he said.

Crowley also expressed concern over the safety ofDavis and said Washington hold the Pakistan government asresponsible for his safety.

"We are concerned about his safety. We had multipleconversations with the Government of Pakistan. They have toldus that he is in the safest possible location in Lahore," hesaid.

Observing that the US is building a strategicpartnership with Pakistan, Crowley said this is important tothe future of the region and the interest of the US.

Asked if the US is considering cut in military orfinancial aid, he said: "At this time we are not contemplatingany action along those lines".

A senior Administrative official, meanwhile, assertedthat the Vienna Convention is clear on the issue and the onlyrecourse Pakistan has is to release Davis and ask him to leavethe country.

"Under international law there are few areas where thelaw is so clear and is basically comes down to threeuncontested facts. .

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