Thursday, February 17, 2011

Was Davis running drone programme in Pakistan?

A mysterious halt to U.S Predator strikes on Pakistan after the Raymond Davis incident in Lahore has led to intense speculation the American "diplomat" was connected to the Drone program even as Washington and Islamabad are going eyeball-to-eyeball over his status.

Davis, 36, was apprehended by Pakistani police after he shot dead two Pakistanis on a busy Lahore thoroughfare on January 27, four days after the last drone U.S Drone strike in Pakistan.

While Davis claimed that he shot the two Pakistanis in self-defense when they were trying to rob him, some reports have said they were ISI tails assigned to follow him because the Pakistani intelligence felt he had crossed certain unspecified "red lines." Those red lines may have involved discovering the Pakistani establishment's links with terrorists group, a pursuit which led to the death of Wall Street Journalist Danny Pearl.

According to the LWJ, it is also possible the Obama administration has halted the Drone strikes for political reasons, as Washington negotiates Davis' release.

A bitter wrangle has erupted in Islamabad between ultra-nationalist/pro-Jihadi elements in the government determined to stand up to Washington and deny Davis diplomatic immunity and those in favor of immunity because of Pakistan's parlous financial situation and its need to remain in Washington's good books.

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