Raymond Davis does not enjoy blanket immunity: Qureshi

Regarding the issue of Raymond Davis, former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday said while he was the foreign minister the US national did not enjoy full diplomatic immunity.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Qureshi said the foreign office had briefed him on January 31 that Davis did not enjoy the blanket immunity that the US was claiming for him.

Qureshi said that after studying the Vienna Conventions of 1961 and 1963 and Pakistan’s Diplomatic Law of 1972, one could conclude that “the blanket immunity as being demanded by the US embassy was not valid”.

He said that after seeing relevant documents, it was his “considered opinion” that Davis did not enjoy diplomatic immunity. He had informed the Core Committee of the Pakistan People’s Party of his view on the subject.

He said an inter-ministerial meeting had also endorsed this point of view.

Qureshi said that his stance on the Davis issue was principled and that he would stand by his position.

He said that for him Pakistan’s sovereignty and dignity were most important and that if need be he would apprise the people of Pakistan of more facts.

Qureshi, who stepped down earlier this month during a Cabinet reshuffle but retains influence, reiterated this stance after a meeting with Chairman US Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry — an indication that the American politician may have a rocky time convincing Pakistan to free 36-year-old Raymond Davis, a US consulate employee who shot and killed two Pakistani men in Lahore last month in what he said was a robbery attempt.

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