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Pakistani intelligence claims US gunman was undercover CIA agent

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2011-02-21

An American citizen arrested last month for fatally shooting two Pakistani men “was working for the CIA”, Pakistani intelligence officials said Monday. US claims the man should be given diplomatic immunity have caused outrage in Pakistan.

AFP - Pakistani intelligence considers that an American in custody nearly a month for killing two Pakistani men on motorcycles, was working undercover for the CIA, an official said Monday.

Washington insists Raymond Davis has diplomatic immunity and acted in self-defence when he shot two men in a busy street in the eastern city of Lahore on January 27, fearing that he was about to be robbed.
             
His detention has sparked a diplomatic crisis between the United States and Pakistan, where an anti-American population of 167 million is ruled by a weak and unpopular government closely allied in the US war in Afghanistan.
             
"It is beyond any shadow of a doubt that he was working for CIA," an official from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency told AFP on condition of anonymity.
             
The official said the shooting in broad daylight at a busy junction on January 27 in the eastern city of Lahore and Pakistan's subsequent arrest of Raymond Davis had damaged relations with the Central Intelligence Agency.
             
"He's on contract. He's not a regular CIA guy, but he's working for CIA. That's confirmed," the Pakistani official said.
             
The government in Islamabad is under enormous domestic pressure not to be seen as kowtowing to US demands for Davis' release and has come under fire over how American officials are seemingly free to drive around with loaded weapons.
             
The United States has postponed a round of high-level talks with Afghanistan and Pakistan following failed attempts to get Davis out, and some US lawmakers have threatened to cut payments to Pakistan unless he is freed.
             
The Pakistani intelligence official said relations between ISI and the CIA had also taken a knocking.
             
"Our relations with the CIA are now sort of pretty dicey. It has affected our relationship," the official told AFP.
             
"He was sort of working behind our backs. Normal CIA guys -- we know who they are. We interact with them regularly. We know they're CIA, but in this particular case we had no knowledge of him," the official added.
             
A court last week deferred any judgement on whether Davis has diplomatic immunity and gave the foreign ministry until March 14 to determine his status.
             
Leading US Senator John Kerry visited Pakistan last week to express regret and promise that Davis would face a criminal investigation at home.
             
But in Pakistan, few are convinced that Davis was a normal diplomat. Police shortly after the arrest told AFP they recovered a Glock pistol, four loaded magazines, a GPS navigation system and a small telescope from his car.
             
A third Pakistani died when struck by a US diplomatic vehicle that came to Davis's assistance. Pakistani police say the Americans have refused them access to that vehicle or to the occupants inside.
             
Further suspicion was aroused when the US embassy on January 28 identified him as a "staff member of the US consulate general in Lahore" but the next day as a diplomat assigned to the embassy in Islamabad.
             
Under international laws, embassy diplomats have full diplomatic immunity whereas consulate officials are liable to detention in case of grave crimes.
             
The US embassy has since said that was a simple mistake.

 

Date created : 2011-02-21

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