Families of Davis victims dissatisfied with investigations
* Say receiving serious threats, warnings of dire consequences
* Demand US citizen’s trial under anti-terrorism act
By Imran Chaudhry
LAHORE: The families of the three Pakistanis killed by US citizen, Raymond Davis, alleged that they were dissatisfied with the police investigations and the government has deliberately weakened the case, adding that they were asked to forgive Davis, along with warnings of dire consequences.
The families said this while addressing a press conference on Wednesday at the Qartaba Chowk, the place where all three men lost their lives, in the presence of a large number of citizens, civil society activists and media representatives. Davis killed 21-years-old Faizan Haider and 20-years-old Muhammad Faheem by firing at them, while another young man, Ibadur Rehman was crushed to death by a vehicle of the US consulate that rushed to the spot to rescue Davis.
“There is a huge difference between Raymond Davis and Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s case as Aafia was not a terrorist while Davis has committed a serious crime,” said Imran Haider, brother of late Faizan Haider. He demanded that the murderer should be charged under anti-terror laws.
During the press conference dozens of relatives along with students of the Insaaf Student Federation (ISF) gathered at the shooting site at Qartaba Chowk located in the Mozang police precincts. The protesters shouted anti-US slogans like “hang Davis”, “cruel people should be accountable for the murder”, etc.
Davis, a US consulate employee, is under investigation for shooting the two young men, and another man, who was run over by a vehicle of the US consulate that came to rescue Davis.
On the occasion, Sajjad, brother of Ibadur Rehman, who was run over by the US consulate’s vehicle, said that they had heard news regarding swapping of Dr Aafia with Davis but the two cases were of a different nature as Dr Aafia was not a terrorist while Raymond was. He said that the US consulate employee had used a weapon openly in public. Sajid said that the Americans who came to rescue Davis had aimed guns at the general public when they tried to stop the car, which crushed his brother to death.
He said that all these were acts of terrorism. Sajjad, with tears in his eyes, said that their mother was still waiting for Ibad’s return. “Our brother loved mobile phones and at the time of the mishap he was carrying three mobiles with him, one bag, a wallet and keys, however, the police have only returned the keys to us,” he said.
Shahzad, the brother-in-law of Ibad, said that the investigators have not told them anything new, they have only quoted what Davis had been saying, which was that he does not remember the people who reached the scene to help him. He said that the US national should be held in police custody until he remembers who the other Americans were.
Rasheed, brother in law of Faizan Haider, also demanded that Davis be charged under the anti-terrorism act. He said that the grieving families were dissatisfied with the investigations being carried out by the police, adding that the government was deliberately weakening the case against the US citizen and are portraying the victims as robbers. He said that one Lahore superintendent of police (SP) had said that Faizan and Faheem were robbers only a few minutes after the mishap, without initiating any inquiry in the matter.
The families said that they were being asked to forgive Davis for the murders, and were being warned of dire consequences as well.