Punjab government insists Davis be interrogated by intelligence agencies instead of the police. PHOTO: EXPRESS


ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government is insisting that the detained CIA agent, Raymond Davis, should be interrogated by intelligence agencies instead of the police, sources said.


The provincial government has sent several letters to the federal government along with ‘undeniable proof’ of Davis’ involvement in anti-Pakistan activities, a highly-placed source told The Express Tribune.


“His interrogation by the intelligence agencies will help trace other CIA agents involved in ‘unlawful activities’ in Pakistan,” the source said quoting from the official letters of the Punjab government.


The camera seized from Davis had photographs of Pakistan Army’s bunkers on the border with India. And this made the Punjab police suspect that he could be spying on Pakistan for India.


They suspect that Davis could have been providing to the Indians information about the banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which is headquartered near Lahore.


New Delhi has accused the LeT for most of the terrorist attacks on its soil, including the 2008 commando-style storming of Mumbai’s landmarks. The LeT is said to be the militant wing of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) charity.


Before the shooting on January 27, Davis had visited a place in Lahore which is located hardly a kilometre away from the LeT headquarters.


Washington has been a strong supporter of New Delhi’s demand for the closure of the JuD offices in Lahore and elsewhere in the country.


“The US support for India’s viewpoint on the LeT has always irked Pakistan,” a former diplomat told The Express Tribune. “Why is Washington criticising Islamabad on the LeT as it is a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India,” he added.


US diplomats are perturbed over media reports that Davis has been questioned about things other than the killing of two Pakistanis.


His interrogators had also asked him several questions about the identity of those three US nationals who escaped from the scene after crushing to death another Pakistani in Lahore on Jan 27.


Davis has reportedly been questioned about the three Americans who had come to his rescue but fled from the crime scene crushing another Pakistani under their SUV on way to the American consulate in Lahore.


Despite the Lahore High Court orders the US consulate has not handed over the Pakistani driver and the SUV they were travelling in to the police.


Police suspect that the three Americans were Davis’ collaborators in his clandestine operations in Pakistan.


“For the law the driver of the car, and not the three Americans, was responsible for the death of the third Pakistani,” a police official told The Express Tribune.


Meanwhile, the Punjab home department is considering holding a jail-trial of Davis in the illegal weapon case due to security concerns.


The source said that the department is likely to issue a formal notification in this regard within three days.  Davis’ trial in the double murder case is already being held in the Kot Lakhpat Jail, where he is detained.


Hearing in the illegal weapon case is scheduled for March 3 and the trail will be held in jail, the sources said.  However, provincial Home Secretary Shahid Khan refused to comment on the issue.


Additional reporting by Rana Yasif in Lahore


Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2011.

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