Foreign Policy Blogs

Is Raymond A. Davis a Bargaining Chip for U.S Concessions?

Is it likely that the government of Pakistan is trying to delay the onset of proceedings against Raymond A. Davis, the man accused of allegedly killing two motorists on the streets of Lahore?  This in order to buy time as back-channel negotiations run up against public sentiment, the natural political deadline in these circumstances? Yes. There are now two parallel proceedings that are on the docket against him–the one that will determine whether he enjoys immunity rights under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and a separate proceeding that will press murder charges against him.  Even though his murder trial is underway, both proceedings have been delayed. (A trial delayed is just that!)

If Raymond Davis is denied immunity, Pakistan’s civilian government will suffer a great of prestige and have to deal with a Washington D.C’s dawning unwillingness to put up with President Zardari’s vascillations.  In the meanwhile Pakistan’s military and intelligence services are happy to press on with proceedings against Davis; the Pakistani public is squarely for it, as is every other opposition party, standing up against the ruling Pakistan People’s Party.  The battle lines have been drawn up: it’s the civilian government in Islamabad against the military’s moves, with some added encouragement from Pakistan’s provincial governments.

Nevertheless, even the military and the opposition, all who still want to work with the leaders and aid agencies in Washington D.C., need to keep their dire opposition against so-called western infringement into Pakistani poltiics somewhat at bay.  After all where would Pakistani politics be without U.S and wider western foreign aid? It is more than likely that the moves against Raymond Davis are nothing more than bargaining chips to draw from the U.S. government greater concessions on a quieter military presence in Pakistani cities, a more transparent partnership on U.S military moves against insurgents.



Faheem Haider

Faheem Haider is a political analyst, writer and artist. He holds advanced research degrees in political economy, political theory and the political economy of development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and New York University. He also studied political psychology at Columbia University. During long stints away from his beloved Washington Square Park, he studied peace and conflict resolution and French history and European politics at the American University in Washington DC and the University of Paris, respectively.

Faheem has research expertise in democratic theory and the political economy of democracy in South Asia. In whatever time he has to spare, Faheem paints, writes, and edits his own blog on the photographic image and its relationship to the political narrative of fascist, liberal and progressivist art.

That work and associated writing can be found at the following link:

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