He says he was acting in self-defense during an armed robbery. But the jihadists appear to be focusing on his case as the latest occasion for their outrage. The outrage is constant; the pretexts for it change with the times. “Taliban warns Pakistan against releasing U.S. prisoner,” by Zeeshan Haider and Rebecca Conway for Reuters, February 15:
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The Pakistani Taliban warned the government on Tuesday it would punish any move to release a U.S. consulate employee accused of murdering two Pakistanis in a case that has inflamed already strained ties with Washington.
U.S. Senator John Kerry was due in Pakistan as part of the Obama administration’s efforts to resolve the crisis.
Raymond Davis, the U.S. consular employee jailed in the Pakistani city of Lahore for shooting two Pakistanis last month, says he acted in self-defense during an armed robbery.
Washington insists Davis has diplomatic immunity and should be released but the Pakistani government, fearful of a backlash from Pakistanis already wary of the United States and enraged by the shooting, says the matter should be decided in court.
“If (Pakistani) rulers hand him over to America then we will target these rulers. If Pakistani courts cannot punish Davis then they should hand him over to us,” said Azam Tariq, spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (Taliban movement of Pakistan).
“We will give exemplary punishment to the killer Davis.”…
Cash-strapped 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.
The issue has become a lightning rod for anti-American sentiment in Pakistan, which the United States counts as an important, if unreliable, ally in its war against militancy….
Jamaat-e-Islami, a religious and political party capable of organizing large protests, accused the United States of exerting “unprincipled and unlawful” pressure on Pakistan.
“Why is America hell bent on trampling on Pakistani law and its judicial system? We will forcefully protest if he is released without a court order,” Jamaat-e-Islami deputy chief Liaquat Baluch told Reuters….