Leadership Agreed on Courts Settling Davis Row: Pak

Leadership Agreed on Courts Settling Davis Row: Pak
Days after suspected CIA contractor Raymond Davis was acquitted of double-murder charges and freed, Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani today said there was consensus among the country's leadership that the matter involving the US national should be settled by the courts.

"In the Raymond Davis case, the country's leadership, including the opposition, had reached a consensus that the final decision would be taken by the court," Gilani said in a brief statement issued by his office.

"This consensus was in line with the public sentiments at large. The court decided in favour of the release of (Davis) which has been implemented," he said.

Gilani said it would be "inappropriate" to hold any single institution responsible for the final outcome of Davis' case.

Davis, a 36-year-old former Special Forces soldier, was arrested in Lahore on January 27 after he gunned down two armed men. The case was complicated following reports that he was a private security contractor working for the CIA and that the two men he killed were affiliated with Pakistan's ISI.

The American was pardoned and freed by a Pakistani court on Wednesday after over two million dollars were paid to the families of the dead men as "blood money" under Islamic laws.

However, Davis' release has triggered protests by religious and radical groups, which are trying to capitalise on growing anti-American sentiments.

Leaders of religious parties like the Jamaat-e-Islami and some politicians have accused the government of selling out Pakistan's interests by freeing Davis.
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