Wednesday, March 16, 2011
It appears that the diplomatic standoff between the US and Pakistan over the imprisonment of US contractor Raymond Davis has been settled just like everything always is when it comes to Pakistan..with the payment of baksheesh, bribe money.
As you'll recall, Davis was a CIA contractor in Pakistan covered by a diplomatic passport who was arrested by Pakistani authorities after he gunned down two armed agents with Pakistan's notorious ISI intelligence service who were were tailing Davis as a spy.
The ISI is noted for aiding and abetting Islamist terrorists. My own reading of this is that Davis, who has a Special Forces background, was in fact likely doing something covert that needed doing, something the ISI didn't want done. Davis has a Special Forces background and runs his own private security company. When the ISI sent out two hired guns to make him conveniently disappear, they both wound up on the receiving end instead.
After Pakistani authorities jailed Davis, the US protested (correctly) that Davis enjoyed diplomatic immunity and demanded his release.
But Pakistan being Pakistan, the case created created a huge public furor, especially after the wife of one of the deceased ISI agents committed a nasty, dramatic and very public suicide by taking poison on Pakistani television after voicing an anti-American rant in front of the cameras.
What eventually happened was that Pakistani government leaned on the families to take some baksheesh from the US ( some of which undoubtedly went to people in the Pakistani government for 'handling' the transaction)in order to back off and let the matter drop.
The price? Between $770K and $1 million for three families (one additional ISI agent was hit by a car when Davis' CIA colleagues attempted to extricate him from the scene).
Punjab province law minister Rana Sanauallah told a Pakistani news channel that Davis was set free by the court after the blood money was accepted by the families of those killed, in accordance with what passes for law in Pakistan, whose legal code is based on sharia.