Ex-ISI chief Gen Pasha played vital in my release: CIA agent Raymond Davis

 
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Washington June 30 (TNS): Raymond Davis — the CIA operative who sparked a diplomatic row after killing two men in Lahore in January 2011 – has revealed in his memoir that former US Foreign Secretary John Kerry, Nawaz Sharif, Asif Zardari, former ISI chief Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha and Hussain Haqqani helped in his release from the Kot Lakhpat Jail.

The memoir titled ‘The Contractor: How I Landed in a Pakistani Prison and Ignited a Diplomatic Crisis” further reveals that apart from the ISI chief, several other officials of the intelligence agency were present in the court at the time of his release.

Davis says no one was more helpful than Gen Pasha in his release in Pakistan. Gen Pasha, who was in Lahore’s sessions court, had a mobile phone in his hand through which he was updating the then US ambassador, Cameron Munter, about the court hearing.

He says Kerry’s meeting with Nawaz paved the way for his release after which Gen Pasha was given extension.

Davis became the centre of controversy in Pakistan moments after local police registered a case against him on charges of killing two Pakistani men at Qurtaba Chowk in downtown Lahore. A third Pakistani man was struck and killed by a vehicle that was reportedly racing to Davis’ aid.

The violent confrontation escalated into a diplomatic crisis, making headlines across the world and straining ties between Islamabad and Washington, as US policymakers pressed for diplomatic immunity for Davis and pushed for his immediate release.

The book was released on June 27, which offers “an up-close and personal look at the 2011 incident in Lahore, Pakistan, that led to his imprisonment and the events that took place as diplomats on both sides of the bargaining table scrambled to get him out”.

A former soldier, Davis had experience with the US Special Forces and ran a small security company, according to public US records.

US officials never released details about Davis’ precise job in Pakistan, saying only he was a “member of the administrative and technical staff” of the Islamabad embassy and traveled on a diplomatic passport.

The CIA contractor spent 49 days in Pakistani custody, and was released on March 16, 2011 after the families of the two slain men reached an agreement and were paid $2.4 million in blood money. The Lahore High Court acquitted him on all charges and Davis was flown out of Pakistan.