So was there ever any doubt? Raymond Davis, after killing two Pakistani men in broad daylight, in cold blood, gets to go home scot-free by claiming diplomatic immunity. On the other hand however, many Pakistanis, including diplomats, are treated like common criminals upon their arrival in the U.S. How does one understand the logic behind all of this? The sad truth is… there is no logic!
In order to understand this complex situation, one should know the basic implication and meaning of diplomatic immunity. Defined as the “independence from law as a foreign diplomat in a state”, diplomatic immunity remains a constant target of international speculation and, more harshly, criticism. This criticism and perpetual questioning of its legal status and appropriate usage took heightened form in Pakistan post-Davis’s killings of the two gunmen.
Initially after calling it an “attack”, Raymond Davis later on claimed and argued that he retained immunity in such a case and that prosecution was simply a big no. Pakistan, however, filed its major qualms not only with the murders of its two citizens but with the mysterious status Davis maintained in Lahore. Possible cases were complied against him under the act of espionage which was later on refuted by the US government. Furthermore, several giants of the mainstream media had already a clue of the ongoing acts in Pakistan; these names include The Guardian and New York Times.
Arguing against Davis and the murders committed in broad daylight, lawyers representing the slain two brothers’ case in Kot Lakhpat Jail conducted proceedings behind closed doors, judged by Yousuf Aujla. After the proceeding, judge Aujla said no authentic documentation to substantiate Davis’s stay in Pakistan were offered and, consequently, such absence of authentication only proved his covert agenda in the state of Pakistan. “A note provided by the US Embassy is not enough to prove Raymond Davis’s diplomatic immunity”, said Aujla.
After proceedings for and against Raymond Davis, the Pakistani court freed the CIA contractor which led to extreme angst and opposition from political parties and the general public. A compensation known as blood money was made to the slain brothers’ families following the suicide of one of the brothers’ wives. This became an instant target of skepticism since the Sunni Islamic Council declared that forced “diyyat” is certainly haram in Islam. This was reported by national news agencies claiming that eighteen members of the family were present in court to validate their forgiveness for Raymond Davis as long as they were compensated under the Sharia Law.
If the treatment given to Raymond Davis was how all ‘diplomats’ (official or self-proclaimed) were treated worldwide, it may even help one to make sense of it all; however when one considers other cases of diplomatic immunity that the U.S. has been involved in in the past, one can’t help but notice gross double-standards in the treatment meted out to those involved.
In 1997, the deputy ambassador of the Republic of Georgia to the United States was involved in an accident where four people died, including a sixteen year old girl. Upon testing, the diplomat was found to have a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit. The deputy ambassador on this occasion tried playing the diplomatic immunity card, however this was not recognized by the U.S. and he was taken into custody and served three years in prison.
In a more recent incident in August 2010, a Pakistani army delegation arrived at Dallas airport at the invitation of the U.S. Central Command. Upon their arrival however, these ‘diplomats’ were taken into police custody and treated like common criminals, or at best in a very insulting manner. In protest, all of the diplomats returned home to Pakistan immediately without attending their scheduled meeting. The U.S. government issued no apology for this treatment.
However, what probably inflames the Pakistani masses the most is when they compare the case of Raymond Davis with that of Aafia Siddiqui. How is it justified that a woman who was simply accused of attempting to kill U.S. soldiers with a large rifle (despite her weighing less than 100 pounds) is given 80 years in prison while a man who brutally killed two Pakistanis in broad daylight, in full-view of witnesses, then had the audacity to film the dead bodies of his victims, is granted diplomatic immunity and flies home free…?
Where is the logic? The sad truth is… there is no logic!