By: Ahmad Hassan
ISLAMABAD: The US government has been advised by the Senate to refrain from issuing warnings and statements about Raymond Davis, who allegedly killed two young men in Lahore last week in self-defence.
Right from the start of the sitting on Friday, the senators belonging to opposition and treasury benches called upon the government not to succumb to any pressure for Davis`s early release.
On a point of order, Senator Tariq Azeem of the PML-Q urged the government to impress upon the United States and its embassy not to issue intimidating statements demanding release of its citizen.
“When the people put questions to the authorities on this vital issue they are told that it cannot be discussed because it is sub judice, but the United States and its embassy are free to issue statements each day,” he said.
He referred to a newspaper report about the mounting pressure and fresh demands from the US government for release of Davis who had been booked by police for killing two Pakistani nationals.
“The Foreign Office is also maintaining a guarded silence and the Interior Ministry is also not telling the truth and the US government is continuing to issue statements,” he said.Mr Azeem said the American government and their media had also admitted that Davis was travelling to Pakistan on fake identity and in such a case the visa ought to be cancelled and the person deported.
“Instead of giving diplomatic immunity to the US citizen, his visa should be cancelled and his trial should be held in a fair manner,” he said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister`s Adviser Mian Raza Rabbani outrightly dismissed the objection being raised against devolution of certain ministries to the provinces.
Responding to a point of order by a Baloch lawmaker, Mr Rabbani made it clear that the commission had limited mandate of facilitating devolution plan but it cannot make any change in what has been decided by the 18th Amendment.
Humayun Mandokhel wanted to know the fate of certain international protocols in case the ministry of environment is devolved to the provinces.
Earlier, MQM Senators staged a walk-out against what one of its lawmakers Col (retd) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi termed killing the adjournment motion that his party had moved to debate petroleum prices hike.
He was reprimanded by the chairman for speaking too loudly and ordered closure of his mike as well.
This infuriated the member as he left the house grumbling and two other party lawmakers also followed him.
Zahid Khan of the ANP asked the chair to restrain the buyer of railways land on the Bank road in Rawalpindi on exorbitant price of Rs2.5 billion which was sold to him on a throwaway price of Rs100 million in 2002.