Sunday, July 2, 2017

Pakistan - Pasha pressured victims’ relatives, admits Raymond

The former spy contractor of US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Raymond Davis, has explained in his book how he cried like a baby upon his release but also mentioned how some relatives of his victims cried after being pressured by former spy chief Pasha to accept the Diyat deal.
The CIA contractor was arrested in January 2011 for killing two Pakistani citizens, Faizan and Faheem, in broad daylight on Lahore's busy thoroughfare. He was released and sent back home in March 2011 after a controversial $2.4 million- Diyat- deal with families of the two men.
In his book titled The Contractor: “How I Landed in a Pakistani Prison and Ignited a Diplomatic Crisis”, Davis explains the circumstances under which he was released after two-months of detention in Pakistan. He appreciated the role of Lieutenant General (retd) Ahmad Shuja Pasha in securing his release. Once the plan (Blood money deal) was hatched, it was up to Pasha to carry it out, but a Pakistani officer was more than happy to let me twist in the wind all the way up until the very end. At the same time, Pasha was clearly committed to making sure that the deal was successful, he said. The CIA agent also highlighted how relatives of the killed men were pressured to accept the deal.
Because the plan hinged on the acquiescence of the eighteen family members, Pasha applied as much pressure as was needed to get them to accept the diyat. With the support of their lawyer, (Asad Manzoor Butt), several of them resisted.
According to Raymond Davis Gen Pasha was responsible for replacing the prosecutor, Asad Manzoor Butt who, according to one report, had worked the case pro bono at the behest of Jamaat-e-Islami—with Raja Irshad, who was more beholden to Pasha than any religious group. He said one of those who didn’t accept the plan right away was Muhammad Faheem’s brother, Waseem Shamzad. Another dissenter was Mashhood-ur-Rehman, whose brother had been killed by the SUV coming to rescue me and who’d recently obtained his law degree in the United Kingdom.
To separate the family members from the radical Islamists whispering in their ears and the lawyer who endorsed a hardline Islamist agenda, Pasha intervened on March 14, detaining and sequestering all eighteen of them. For the two days preceding the March 16 trial that would decide my fate, Butt was unable to reach any of them by phone, and their neighbors confirmed that they had disappeared, Davis wrote.
“There is a padlock on their door,” said Faizan Haider’s cousin Aijaz Ahmad. “Their phones are all switched off. If they have done this, then they have acted dishonorably.”
“The night before the March 16 trial, Pasha took the family members to Kot Lakhpat Jail and encouraged them to accept the deal that was on the table. If they agreed to forgive me, they would be given a large sum of money in return. If they didn’t agree, well, the consequences of that decision were made clear the following morning when they were reportedly held at gunpoint just outside the prison’s courtroom for several hours and warned not to say a word about it to the media.
When Butt arrived at the prison that morning, he received similar treatment. Butt was never able to see or talk to any of his (now former) clients.
“The shock of being denied access to the man who’d guided them through their country’s convoluted legal system for more than a month, and forced to agree to a deal that many of them didn’t want, was evident on their faces as they shuffled to the front of the courtroom on March 16. And, as Carmela had observed, the women were indeed the ones taking it the hardest. Some of them had tears in their eyes. Others were sobbing outright” Davis wrote.
Their new lawyer, Irshad, presented the judge with a signed document showing that all eighteen of Muhammad Faheem and Faizan Haider’s legal heirs had agreed, at least on paper, to forgive me and accept the diyat. After each relative had signed the necessary paperwork, the judge asked if any of them had been coerced into doing it. All eighteen relatives said no. The judge also reminded both the defense and the prosecution that they were entitled to object. Neither side did.
Davis also narrated how he broke up after finally learning about his release.
But the moment I realized that I was actually being released, that it wasn’t some cruel joke, I let my guard down and allowed all the emotions I’d kept at bay—joy, shock, sadness, fear—to return. Because of my occupation and my physical appearance, I was viewed as a tough guy, but now during one of the most intense and vulnerable minutes of my life, all that toughness disappeared, and I was just a husband and a father who wanted nothing more than to go home. “And, yes, I cried. I cried like a baby.”

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