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Can Raymond Davis Case Trigger Egypt-Like Situation in Pakistan?


By B. Raman

In response to readers' questions, I had earlier ruled out the possibility of an Egypt-like mass uprising in Pakistan despite the economic hardships being faced by the people. In support of my argument, I had, inter alia, referred to the disorganised state of the youth and trade union movements in Pakistan.

2. As I monitor the public anger building up in Pakistan over what growing sections of the people see as the bullying tactics adopted by the US Government to secure the release and departure to the US of Raymond Davis a member of the staff of either the US Consulate-General in Lahore or the US Embassy in Islamabad (one does not know which), who allegedly shot dead two Pakistanis in Lahore on January 27, 2011, I am no longer that certain that there cannot be an uprising in Pakistan.

3. Yes, I still feel there cannot be an uprising in Pakistan over domestic issues and the style of governance. But if the public anger over the Davis case continues to build up as a result of the surprising mishandling of the case by the US State Department, one may be faced with a mass uprising over the issue of the country's relations with the US.

4. The Egyptian people rose in revolt because they were fed up with the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak and his corruption and insensitivity to the economic hardships of the people. The US failed to read the writing on the wall. In Pakistan, large sections of the population---including the youth--- are showing signs of getting fed up with the way they think the US has been treating their country as evidenced by its alleged bullying tactics to secure his release and departure.

5. Facts are no longer the issue disturbing the people----whether Davis is a diplomat or not; whether he enjoyed diplomatic immunity or not; whether he is a CIA employee or not. The real issue has become the way the US is seen to be treating Pakistan. Normally, one would have expected the State Department to engage in quiet discussions with the Governments in Islamabad and Lahore and persuade them to let him go in return for an apology by the US Government for his act in allegedly killing two Pakistanis and compensation for the families of the Pakistanis killed. Instead of doing so, the State Department continues to adopt tactics which are seen in Pakistan as nothing but bullying.

7. "No more bullying by the US"----that is the mounting cry in Pakistan. The Drone (pilotless planes) strikes in the tribal belt caused sporadic ant-US anger in the tribal belt, but it remained confined to the tribal areas. It did not spread to the rest of Pakistan. The anger over the Davis case has been in the whole of Pakistan. The elite as well as the common people, the religious as well as the liberal sections of the population are resentful of the manner in which they see the US as dictating terms to their Government.

8. There is an urgent need for the US to make changes in the way it has been handling the case. Otherwise, the public anger could lead to unpredictable consequences creating further instability in Pakistan and making it difficult for the Government to co-operate with the US on issues viewed as affecting Pakistan's sovereignty and self-respect.

9. Previously, critics of the Drone strikes used to accuse the US of not respecting Pakistan's sovereignty. Now critics of the US handling of the Davis case are accusing it of not caring for the dignity and self-respect of the Pakistani State and people.
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MIDDLE EAST CHANGING DYNAMICS: STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVES ON POWER PLAY OF UNITED STATES, RUSSIA & CHINA


By Dr Subhash Kapila

Introductory Observations

The Middle East Region in terms of strategic rivalry between leading global players has witnessed at least three significant phases in the last sixty-five years. During the Cold War it was the arena of Superpower confrontation between the United States and the Former Soviet Union. In the Post-Cold War era of the 1990s and up to midd-2000s the United States had an undisputed predominance over the Middle East along with its global predominance.

By 2005, Russia under then President Putin in a resurgent bid to re-establish its strategic foothold in the region made strategic forays in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Qatar and most significantly in Saudi Arabia.

China with its growing Comprehensive National Power at about the same time too established substantive strategic relationships with Saudi Arabia and Iran. China had overriding stakes in the Middle East not only restricted to energy security but also strategic stakes related to its aspirations for global power status.

This is the strategic picture obtaining till recently and now promises to change with the political revolution that has taken place in Egypt and its underlying portents that it may spread in the rest of the Arab World.

The suddenness of the political revolution in Egypt is nothing new. The Middle East has historically thrown up such strategic and political events which were not anticipated or correctly read by policy establishments and intelligence set-ups of the leading Powers which are significant stakeholders in this Region.

The Iranian Revolution 1979 did not engulf the wider Middle East as Iran was not only a non-Arab State but also a Shia State. Furthermore, any ripple effect of the Iranian Revolution was and would have been brutally suppressed by the authoritarian regimes that flourished in the Arab World and closely tied to the United States.

The Egypt Revolution 2011 has taken place in the most powerful Arab State of the Middle East and is proving to be an energizer and model for similar political upheavals in the wider Arab World and the Middle East too. The world has changed and so also the political environment in the Middle East where the undisputed rule of authoritarian and monarchial despotic regimes of the Middle East can no longer continue unchallenged.

The Middle East power dynamics have additionally changed with Turkey as the mainstay of US security architecture loosening its ties with the United States and Israel and moving closer to Iran and Syria. Iran could not be tamed by the United States for the last three decades and continues to trouble US strategic planners. And in this sort of Middle East security environment, Russia and China are waiting in the wings to exploit any openings so ensuing to further their strategic interests.

The changing dynamics underway in the Middle East dictate a review of the strategic power play that is likely to take shape in view of the sizeable stakes that the United States, Russia and China have in the Middle East.

This Paper intends to analyze the following perspectives in the Middle East:

* United States: Strategic & Political Challenges in Changing Dynamics of Middle East
* Russia’s Strategic Stakes Currently in Middle East
* China: The Strategic Dilemma in the Middle East
* United States, Russia & China Power play in Changing Dynamics of Middle East: Perspectives

United States: Strategic & Political Challenges in Changing Dynamics of Middle East

United States core strategic interests in the Middle East determined its strategic and political policy formulations and these notably were (1) Security of Israel (2) Control of of the sizeable oil and energy resources of the Middle East. (3) Securing the oil sea lanes and strategic chokepoints through which these lifelines pass (4) Prevent the rise of any regional Power hostile to the United States and its allies in the region or to control the energy resources.

In pursuance of these core strategic interests, the United States forged strategic partnerships with Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia the Gulf Sheikhdoms and Sudan. Israel was the United States strategic pivot in the region.

All of the above United States Arab allies are threatened with political upheaval today following the Egypt Revolution 2011. The political upheaval process is already underway despite last minute sops to the people by the despotic regimes. Their political existence is fragile as United States strategic and political leverages that ensured the perpetuation of such despotic regimes, stands diluted with a perceived decline of US power.

Strategic factors predominated United States policy formulations and relationships so far in the region with political considerations immaterial and subsumed as long as friendly despotic regimes were in place which could facilitate the furtherance of US strategic interests.

But with changing political complexion in the Middle East which would be more likely to be less discerning and less sensitive to US strategic interests, the challenge for the United States would now call for complete transformation of its policy approaches. Deft political handling of Arab democratic regimes that may be in the offing now would be an American imperative.

The Arab countries may now be more tempted to follow the lead of Saudi Arabia which after 9/11 has resorted to a “Hedging Strategy’ against the United States by establishing strategic partnerships with China and the United States.

Strategic ambivalence of new Arab regimes which most likely would come into power would challenge the basic fundamentals of US existing policy postulations in the Middle East and the existing US security architecture in the region.

It is debatable whether US backed military transitional regimes like the one put in place in Egypt awaiting democratic elections could provide stability and continuance of safeguarding of US strategic interests.

In the wake of Egypt Revolution 2011 and the tempest repeating in other Arab countries as already underway, the United States would stand seriously challenged in forging new security and political relationships with new Arab emerging regimes.

The above task gets that much more difficult for the United States when the strategic ambivalence of United States with two former major allies in the region, namely Saudi Arabia and Turkey is taken into account.

The United States would be hard pressed to find answers for its policies to ensure security of Israel.

Russia’s Strategic Stakes Currently in the Middle East

Russia unlike the United States and China is not dependant on the Middle East for its energy security as it has sizeable energy resources of its own and in fact underwrites the energy security of European countries and elsewhere. Hence in terms of core strategic interests in the Middle East, these do not revolve around energy security or defense of sea lanes along which oil exports flow.

During the Post Cold War era, Russia could only count on Iran on its side in the Middle East. Today Russia has made strategic inroads and can count on Saudi Arabia and Turkey, two leading Middle East nations. With Saudi Arabia it has developed strong political ties and defense ties in terms of signing a US $ 2 billion arms deal. Turkey as a result of change in foreign policy directions has established strong ties in terms of oil pipelines transit arrangements.

Russia also has good ties with Egypt, Jordan and Qatar The point to note is that Russia today enjoys good relations with all Middle East countries which form the spider web of security relationships designed to ensure the safety of US core strategic interests in the Middle East.

Russia also has close ties of defense collaboration in modification of Russian origin military hardware and joint production of equipment like UAVs

But the larger Russian stake in the Middle East today is to control global prices of oil in conjunction with Saudi Arabia basically, and natural gas prices with Qatar. This provides substantial strategic leverages to Russia in the power games in the Middle East.

China: The Strategic Dilemma in the Middle East

After the United States, China faces major strategic dilemmas in the Middle East. China’s strategic interests in the Middle East are of recent origin as China has no record of historical ties with Arab nations. Also during the Cold War, China did not figure in the strategic calculus of Arab and Middle East nations.

China in a way can be termed as ‘an irresponsible external actor’ in that it introduced intermediate range ballistic nuclear capable missile, first in Saudi Arabia and then to Iran.

Both these developments were patently anti-US in design and spurred a missiles race in the Middle East.

China currently has high stakes in the Middle East in relation to its energy security with an overwhelming dependency on Saudi Arabia.

Like the United States, China was happy to deal with authoritarian and monarchial regimes in the Middle East. It was highly unqualified to bother about democracy and human rights as the United States was periodically prone to preach Arab nations. In fact China was strongly inclined to support the continuance in power of President Mubarak in Egypt in the recent political upheaval.

China however has two strategic dilemmas in the Middle East. In the intra-regional power tussle for regional preeminence China finds itself ranged behind two powerful rivals, namely, Saudi Arabia and Iran. China cannot afford to lose Saudi Arabia with its sizeable dependence on it oil supplies. China counts heavily on Iran for support in its Central Asian policies and also as a convenient strategic pressure point against the United States.

It is not without reason that China has held out more strongly in favor of Iran against the United States, more than even Russia.

China’s second strategic dilemma is that despite its rising military power, China still is incapable of projecting power in the Middle East and that robs it of significant strategic and political leverages in the power play in the Middle East.

So of all the three global players involved in the Middle East power play, China still finds itself inadequate to play the power game in a manner that it significantly reinforces its global power status.

The oft repeated argument that China has successfully leveraged its ‘soft power’ strength in the Middle East is rather weak because in the ultimate analysis ‘soft power’ unless backed by ‘hard power’ in a region does not lead to strength in strategic power play.

United States, Russia & China Power play in Middle East Changing Dynamics: Perspectives

The power play in the Middle East of these three leading powers in the global strategic calculus necessarily at the macro-level has to take into account their inter-se power play at the global level and in other regions. Perspectives can only be gained from such a lateral analysis.

The United States-Russia relationship may not be all that strategically positive, chiefly because the US policy establishment still suffers from Cold War fixations. Two successive US Presidents have emphasized the need to reset US-Russia relations. European countries too have strongly advocated grant of ‘partnership status’ to Russia in NATO. Russia has cooperated with the United States and the West on a number of crucial issues. Russia cannot be said to have adopted adversarial postures or resorted to brinkmanship against the United States.

United States-China relations despite the rhetoric that flows from Washington and Beijing are highly distrustful and can rightly said to be in an adversarial mode. The US National Military Strategy 2011 document both in direct references and in implied messages between the lines, amply illustrates that China figures as the prime military threat to the United States. China over the last two years more noticeably, has adopted adversarial military postures against the United States in East Asia besides resorting to sabre-rattling and dangerous brinkmanship.

The United States as the predominant power in the Middle East so far and whose predominance may get diluted by coming political upheavals likely to erupt in the Middle East, would obviously be forced to look for strategic partners to keep the Middle East stabilized. Between Russia and China, Russia would be a stronger and stable partner for the United States in the Middle East and Greater Middle East.

The United States needs to recognize that China would prefer that the United States gets once again bogged down in the Middle East and get diverted from East Asia security and strategy. The United States had recently reverted back to East Asia with a vengeance as the Chinese would like to believe.

In China’s strategic calculations the Middle East provides a strong “strategic counter-pressure point” against the United States in relation to diluting US reassertion of its strategic superiority in East Asia.

Within the Middle East while China may have made headway in Saudi Arabia and Iran, Russia comparatively has a wider strategic embrace of the Middle East as a whole and incorporating the Northern Tier of Turkey, Syria, Israel and even Iran.

The United States has a good chance to retrieve its original strategic preponderance in the Middle East with two caveats, The first is that the United States impelled by current Middle East political dynamics moves to being on “The Right Side of History” .and transforms its existing strategic and political policy formulations,

The second caveat is that the United States alone cannot single-handedly shoulder the task of stability and security of the Middle East or other regions. This again stands stressed in the US National Military Strategy 2011 Document. As I have repeatedly stressed in my writings that the United States has to co-opt Russia for global security and the Middle East is the central pivot for the start of that strategy.

Concluding Observations

After nearly twenty years the Middle East is in a defining moment of political ferment, which if not deftly handled by the United States may vitally affect the continued effective strategic embedment of the United States in the region.

Should the United States take the Middle East for granted, it runs the risk of getting diverted from its prime focus on the China Threat building up in East Asia against the United States and its allies there.

In the Middle East, the United States and Russia have good chances of arriving at some strategic convergences to promote Middle East security and stability. To that end the changing strategic dynamics in the Middle East suggest that a substantial ‘reset of strategic and political policy buttons” by the United States in its approaches to Russia is an imperative to jointly collaborate in ensuring Middle East peace and security.
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US National Military Strategy -- 2011: Continued Focus on Terrorism & Enhanced Focus on China


By B. Raman

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, released on February 8, 2011, the USA's new National Military Strategy in replacement of the earlier strategy released in 2004 when Mr.George Bush was the President. The text of the new strategy is available at http://www.jcs.mil//content/files/20...8_FEB_2011.pdf

2. The fight against terrorism and extremism emanating from the Af-Pak and other regions continues to receive priority in the new strategy too, but the new strategy envisages an enhanced focus on China. It says "The Nation’s strategic priorities and interests will increasingly emanate from the Asia-Pacific region. The region's share of global wealth is growing, enabling increased military capabilities. This is causing the region’s security architecture to change rapidly, creating new challenges and opportunities for our national security and leadership. Though still underpinned by the U.S. bilateral alliance system, Asia's security architecture is becoming a more complex mix of formal and informal multilateral relationships and expanded bilateral security ties among states."

3. It also says: "The United States will remain the foremost economic and military power for the foreseeable future, though national debt poses a significant national security risk. Asia will increase its regional share of global wealth. Though it faces a number of domestic challenges, continuation of China’s decades-long economic growth is expected to facilitate its continued military modernization and expansion of its interests within and beyond the region. Other states in Asia, too, are becoming more militarily capable as they grow more prosperous."

4. It further says of China as follows: "Our Nation seeks a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship with China that welcomes it to take on a responsible leadership role. To support this, the Joint Force seeks a deeper military-to-military relationship with China to expand areas of mutual interest and benefit, improve understanding, reduce misperception, and prevent miscalculation. We will promote common interests through China’s cooperation in countering piracy and proliferation of WMD, and using its influence with North Korea to preserve stability on the Korean peninsula. We will continue to monitor carefully China’s military developments and the implications those developments have on the military balance in the Taiwan Strait."

5. In a veiled caution to China, the 2011 Strategy says: "We remain concerned about the extent and strategic intent of China’s military modernization, and its assertiveness in space, cyberspace, in the Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and South China Sea. To safeguard U.S. and partner nation interests, we will be prepared to demonstrate the will and commit the resources needed to oppose any nation’s actions that jeopardize access to and use of the global commons and cyberspace, or that threaten the security of our allies."

6.
The Strategy has a single sentence reference to India. It says: " We seek expanded military cooperation with India on nonproliferation, safeguarding the global commons, countering terrorism, and elsewhere."

7. It stresses the continued importance of the USA's relations with Japan and South Korea for its Asia-Pacific strategy. It says: "We expect to maintain a strong military presence in Northeast Asia for decades. We will work with the Japan Self-Defense Forces to improve their out-of-area operational capabilities as the nation adjusts its defense posture. The Republic of Korea has proven a steadfast ally supporting U.S. security efforts around the world; our commitment to the Republic of Korea is unwavering as North Korea remains a provocative threat to regional stability. We will retain operational control over combined forces on the Korean peninsula through 2015 and provide assistance to South Korea as it expands its security responsibilities. We will continue to work with Japan and South Korea to help improve security ties between them, enhance military cooperation, and preserve regional stability."

8. It explains the continued importance of the fight against terrorism as follows: "There are no more vital interests than the security of the American people, our territory, and our way of life. This is why we are at war in South Central Asia, the epicenter of violent extremism. Afghanistan is where al Qaida, given sanctuary by the Taliban, planned the attacks that murdered more than 3,000 innocent people on 11 September 2001. Al Qaida senior leadership remains in Pakistan and intends to continue to attack the United States, allies, and our partners. The Nation’s strategic objective in this campaign is to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaida and its affiliates in Afghanistan and Pakistan and prevent their return to either country. Success requires the Joint Force to closely work with NATO, our coalition partners, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. We will continue to erode Taliban influence, work with the Afghan government to facilitate reintegration and reconciliation of former insurgents, continue to strengthen the capacity of Afghan security forces, and enable Pakistan to ultimately defeat al Qaida and its extremist allies."

9. It says further: "The threat of violent extremism is not limited to South Central Asia. Groups such as Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Shabaab, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, and others emanate from Somalia, Yemen, and elsewhere around the globe. Terrorists’ abilities to remotely plan and coordinate attacks is growing, sometimes facilitated by global illicit trafficking routes, extending their operational reach while rendering targeting of their sanctuaries more difficult. Undeterred by the complexity of terrorist networks

and in concert with our Allies and partners, we will be prepared to find, capture, or kill violent extremists wherever they reside when they threaten interests and citizens of America and our allies.”
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The Raymond Davis Case: Questions & Answers


By B. Raman

On January 27, 2011, Raymond Davis, a member of the staff of the US Consulate-General in Lahore, allegedly shot and killed two Pakistani motorcyclists at a traffic stop in Lahore. He claimed they were armed and about to rob him. A third Pakistani was killed when a U.S. consular car dispatched to help Davis allegedly crushed to death another motorcyclist while speeding along the wrong side of the road. Davis has been detained by the Lahore Police despite his diplomatic immunity and there has been growing public demand in Pakistan---partly spontaneous and partly instigated by anti-US religious elements--- that he should be prosecuted in a Pakistani court and not handed over for trial in the US as would be normally done in such cases. The public anger has been aggravated by the alleged suicide of the wife of one of the Pakistanis killed and by the over-focus of the US State Department on the diplomatic immunity aspect of the case overlooking the human aspect of the case arising from the deaths of three Pakistanis due to the rash and negligent actions of two members of the Consular staff. I have been in receipt of some questions from readers on this subject. I answer them below:

Q. Was Raymond Davis an officer of the USA’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)?

A. It is difficult to say, but my own assessment repeat assessment is that he is probably from the section of the US State Department, which is responsible for the physical security of US diplomatic and consular missions abroad and their personnel. This section does take serving and retired officers on deputation from the CIA and other security agencies. It has often been alleged that it also outsources some of its tasks to private security agencies and gives their staff diplomatic cover (protection ). I tend to believe that the reflexes of Davis and the other officer who rushed to his help were not those of a professional CIA officer. Professional CIA officers are well-trained to maintain their cool under critical circumstances and avoid over-reaction.

Q. Was the US correct in giving diplomatic status to someone who is not performing well-recognized diplomatic functions?

A. Over the years, there have been complaints from many countries that some Governments are in the habit of indiscriminately giving diplomatic status to their officers posted in their foreign missions irrespective of whether they perform well-recognized diplomatic functions or not. Despite this, this practice continues. In the ultimate analysis, it is up to the State Department to decide who among its officers posted in Pakistan will have diplomatic status. In the initial stages, before the officer leaves for Pakistan, the Government of Pakistan has the right to disagree with the decision of the State Department and refuse to give him a visa on his diplomatic passport to enable him to take up the job. But once the Pakistani Foreign Office gave a diplomatic visa to Raymond Davis and allowed him to join his post in Pakistan, it is bound to respect his diplomatic immunity and cannot wriggle out of this .

Q. It has been alleged that the two Pakistanis killed by Davis belonged to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Can it be correct?


A. It is difficult to say. From the way they were following Davis, I tend to assess that they were police officers of Pakistan’s Intelligence Bureau (IB), which comes under the Ministry of the Interior, trained in surveillance duties who were probably keeping a mobile surveillance on Davis. They could also be police officers on deputation with the ISI for performing surveillance duties.

Q. What offences has Davis committed under Pakistani laws?

A. He has committed two offences. The first offence is carrying a weapon outside the Consulate premises. It has been reported by the “Express Tribune” of Pakistan that some months ago Rehman Mallik, the Interior Minister, had withdrawn the provision under which foreign diplomats posted in Pakistan were allowed to carry weapons outside their places of work for their personal protection after obtaining a licence from an authorized magistrate. Now, while foreign missions are allowed to keep weapons inside their premises for the protection of the premises, their staff are not allowed to carry weapons outside the premises for their personal protection. They have to seek police assistance if they apprehend any threat to their personal security while moving about outside their places of work. By carrying a weapon even after the withdrawal of the provision, Davis violated Pakistani laws. In my view, a professional CIA officer might not have done this. The second offence committed by Davis was to open fire on the persons following him thereby allegedly killing them.

Q: It has been claimed by the US that he opened fire in exercise of his right of self-defence?

A. It is for the court to decide whether the circumstances of the case justified his opening fire in self-defence.

Q. Whose responsibility it is to investigate and prosecute the case?

A. The responsibility for the initial investigation is that of the Pakistani Police. They are required to investigate irrespective of whether he enjoyed diplomatic status or not. However, they do not have the right to prosecute him before a Pakistani court in view of his diplomatic status.

Q. Can the police subject him to custodial interrogation during the investigation?

A. If diplomatic practices are correctly followed, Davis cannot be kept in police or judicial custody in Pakistan. The normal course would have been to hand him over to the US Consulate with a request that he should remain in Pakistan to assist the investigating authorities and that he should be allowed to leave for the US only after the investigating authorities certify that his presence in Pakistan is no longer required. Under the normal procedure, he would have been interrogated either in the Consulate or in a police station without taking him into police custody. The Pakistani authorities have violated this procedure by detaining him in their custody and by producing him before a court---apparently for seeking his police remand--- without allegedly keeping the US Embassy in the picture.

Q. How has the US State Department handled the case?


A. Badly. The moment the incidents happened the US should have announced a preliminary compensation to the families of the three Pakistanis killed with the promise to consider more after the facts are established. I do not get the impression that this was done. There has been some panic in the US reflexes possibly due to fears that something could happen to Davis in Pakistani custody. This has led to a series of over-reactions such as delaying an already announced visit of President Asif Ali Zardari to the US, the reported cancellation of a meeting between Mrs. Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, and the Pakistani Foreign Minister in the margins of the Munich Security Conference etc. Due to the surge in the US Drone strikes in the tribal belt, there is already some criticism in Pakistan that the US does not respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and that the Zardari regime is not standing up to the US to protect Pakistan’s sovereignty. Such criticism will intensify now. In recent months, there were indications that the post-Lal Masjid raid anger which led to an escalation of jihadi terrorism may be subsiding. These incidents in Lahore and the US mishandling of the sequel could provide fresh oxygen to the anger resulting in a fresh spurt in acts of jihadi terrorism.

Q. What will be the ultimate denouement in the case?

A. The US will stick to its stand that it cannot withdraw the diplomatic immunity of Davis and that he will be prosecuted before a US and not a Pakistani court. The Government of Pakistan knows that in view of its dependence on the US, it has no other option but to accede to the US request to let him go to the US to face a trial. But this has been made difficult by the mishandling by the US State Department and by its over-reactions. In such sensitive cases involving a country where anti-US anger is already high and anti- Zardari suspicion is already strong, undue pressure could prove counter-productive. A complicating factor is the assertive judiciary headed by Chief Justic Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhury of the Pakistan Supreme Court. His enquiries into cases of missing persons---many of them informally handed over to the US by the Musharraf regime for the investigation of their suspected links with Al Qaeda---- have already badly affected mutual legal assistance between the US and Pakistan. Before he took over as the Chief Justice, there were over 200 cases of such informal arrests and hand-over to the US. Sine he took over, there has not been a single case. From his observations and rulings in the court in petitions by relatives of missing persons, it is evident that he feels that Pakistani Governments have been unduly deferential to the US in cases involving the rights of Pakistani citizens. If he or the judges under him insist that by carrying a weapon, Davis has violated the conditions of his diplomatic immunity and hence could be prosecuted in Pakistan, the US and Pakistan will face a serious dilemma in sorting out this case.

Q. It has been alleged that the hitherto strong stand of Islamabad has been motivated by the ISI’s anger over a private complaint filed against Lt.Gen.Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the DG of the ISI, in a New York court demanding his prosecution for his alleged involvement in the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai? Some have been claiming that Islamabad has been wantonly taking a seemingly strong stand to get more assistance from the US?


A. Present evidence does not support such allegations or claims.
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