Law in a slave state
Muhammad Hassan


An American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee's memoir about
his imprisonment in Pakistan for killing two men, and his release through
coercive tactics lays bare the working of America's spy network all over
the world. It also reveals the US mindset to kill innocent people mercilessly
and belittle other nations and trample on their laws to obtain desired results.
It also exposes our military and civilian leaders' efforts to outperform each other to obey US diktats. The way our former military and civilian leaders helped former CIA contractor Raymond Davis out of his predicament proves how the laws of the country are applied differently to different people. His memoir indicates the Pakistani leadership has low self-esteem
and what is happening with Pakistanis in other countries of the world is
understandable. In the case, the Pakistani state proved that it considers
its own people inferior to others and the blood of its citizens is also
cheaper. It also points out flaws in our judicial system, which cannot provide justice to poor people and allows the wealthy to go scot-free even
after killing people.
In his memoir, The Contractor: How I Landed in a Pakistani Prison and Ignited a Diplomatic Crisis, Raymond Davis said he had no regrets over
the killings, In fact, he appears to be proud of killing two people as his description
of the scene portrays. "As soon as I saw the gun's muzzle moving
in my direction, I unclicked my seatbelt and started to draw the gun. My
fastest time — including lifting my shirt, drawing my gun, aiming it and firing
— was .95 of a second, while my average was 1.1 second. That's about
as long as it takes a hummingbird to flap its wings fifty times or a plane to
travel 800 feet. I had left the house that morning with 17 rounds in the magazine
and one in the chamber, and while defending myself at Muzang
Chowk, I squeezed off 10 as I aimed for the two men on the motorcycle.
And in a matter of two or three seconds, the entire engagement, from the
moment I saw the threat to the moment it had been eliminated, was over."
He proudly tells his readers that the two men on the motorcycle who pulled
in front of him at Lahore's Muzang Chowk could not have known how fast
he was at drawing his weapon. "Thankfully, all 10 rounds I fired found their
intended targets."
On March 16, 2011, which was his 49th day in jail, Davis appeared before
a makeshift courtroom inside Lahore's Kot Lakhpat Jail. "I imagine that
at least one of his (Gen. Pasha's) texts described the entrance of a man in
a suit, whom I recognised but whose name I could not recall. As soon as
this man entered the courtroom, the room went silent. No one spoke a word.
If a cell phone rang, the person to whom it belonged got up and walked
outside to answer it. The only thing you could hear was the ceiling fan. I
asked a US embassy official who this man was, who identified him as an
ISI colonel and said: 'He's a fixer."
Earlier, he also recounts how former ISI chief Shuja Pasha was "clearly committed" to ensuring that the deal for his release was successful. "Gen. Pasha was also responsible for replacing the original prosecutor, Asad Manzoor Butt, who was working pro bono at the behest of Jamaat-i-Islami with Raja Irshad, who was more beholden to ISI than any religious group. The plan to rescue me by paying blood money hinged on the acquiescence of the 18 family members of the victims and ISI agents applied as much pressure as needed to get them to accept the diyat".
With the support of the first prosecutor, several relatives resisted the
plan. "To separate the family members from the radical Islamists whispering in their ears and the lawyer who endorsed a hard-line Islamic agenda, ISI operatives intervened on March 14, 2011, detaining
and sequestering all 18 of them.
On the night before the March 16 trial, ISI agents took the family members to Kot Lakhpat jail and encouraged them to accept the deal. They were told that if they forgave me, they would be given a large sum of money in return. If they did not, the consequences of that decision
were made clear the following morning when they were reportedly
held at gunpoint just outside the prison's courtroom for several hours
and warned not to say a word about it
to the media," Davis describes.
"When Butt (the lawyer) arrived at
the prison that morning, he received
similar treatment. … Butt was never
able to see or talk to any of his clients.
The shock of being denied access to
the man who'd guided them through
their country's convoluted legal system
for more than a month, and forced to
agree to a deal that many of them did
not want, was evident on their faces as
they shuffled to the front of the courtroom
on March 16".
Citing Carmela Conroy, then US consul general in Lahore, he reveals,
"The women were indeed the ones taking it the hardest. Some of them
had tears in their eyes. Others were sobbing outright. The new prosecutor,
Raja Irshad, presented a signed document to the judge, showing that all
18 legal heirs of the two victims had agreed, at least on paper, to forgive
Davis. The judge asked the relatives to prove their identity and then gave
them $130,000 each for a total of $2.34 million, the largest amount of blood
money ever awarded in Pakistan. After each relative had signed the papers,
the judge asked if any of them had been coerced into doing it. All 18
relatives said no. The judge also reminded both the defence and the prosecution
that they were entitled to object. Neither did." It sums up the pathetic
situation of the justice system in Pakistan.
After the release of the memoir, all politicians, who had played a role
in the release of Davis, have blamed the former military leadership for it.
In fact, they are guiltier than others because they are public representatives
and supposed to protect people and their rights. The incident also
highlights serious flaws in our legal system. Besides, it exposes the US
interference in the affairs of other countries. No wonder, strong anti-US
sentiments exist in Pakistan and other countries of the world, where it is
interfering in their internal affairs. According to Davis, the two men he had
killed were robbers. If they were really robbers, he would have been released
by the court in weeks. Instead, the US adopted its much trusted
arm-twisting tactics to show its real face to Pakistan, its own people and
other countries of the world.