Last week I had a report that the Obama administration had gotten tough on Pakistan over their refusal to release an American serving at the U.S. Embassy there, with diplomatic immunity. Whatever the U.S. said, it didn’t hold much sway. Raymond Davis is still imprisoned, and today the Taliban has told the Pakistan government they will be punished if they cave to American influence.
U.S. “insiders” were quoted saying Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.S., was told Raymond Davis must be released immediately (deadline last Friday) or U.S. military aid would be cut, Haqqani would be sent home, and there would be harsh actions for denial of diplomatic privileges. A Pakistani newspaper has the same report, but official U.S. spokesmen denied any threats.
On Thursday, the United States is expected to present a petition to a Lahore court to certify that Davis has diplomatic immunity and should be released.
The warning from the Taliban, which has kept up suicide bombings to destabilize the government despite army offensives, underscores the charged atmosphere surrounding the case.
Pakistan, one of the largest non-NATO recipients of American military aid, is loathe to risk losing U.S. support by keeping Davis in jail but also fears antagonizing Islamist groups who see the government as a U.S. puppet.
Davis is apparently still imprisoned in Pakistan, and today the Taliban warned Pakistan government that they would punish any move to release Davis, who is charged with the murder of two men trying to rob him.
Senator John Kerry (D-Mass) is on his way to Pakistan to resolve the matter. Read the original report here.