And Davis is gone!

Just a day before Raymond Davis’ release, news reports confirmed bilateral talks between the ISI and the CIA. A breakthrough was likely between the two organizations. Both decided to finally settle all outstanding disputes and rejoin forces for sake of their joint missions in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The next day, Raymond Davis had already left Pakistan. This was expected. The two murders he committed were no longer important. The judiciary and government were no hindrance. Nobody cared to try Mr. Davis for espionage, a case that could hardly be overlooked. Eighteen members of the family willingly forgave the murderer of their loved ones. Everything happened so quickly that it became hard to digest all at once.

Add the above two paragraphs, and the story becomes crystal clear.

At the end of the day, the US government realized that there was only one body in Pakistan that could help them. The arrest was never about the individuals who lost their lives or the integrity of the people of Pakistan. It was a rift between the two country’s agencies. It was a chance for the ISI to prove to the US that it was not going to be downplayed. The Obama administration was starting to understand Pakistan under Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. The US was finally starting to change its priorities and turn to the government of Pakistan instead of the army. No, the army and the government are not the same. The new aid being promised by the US was increasingly civilian oriented under the Kerry-Lugar bill. Moreover, last year General Shuja Pasha, the head of the ISI, was summoned by an American court on alleged charges. General Pasha is a close associate of the Chief of the Army Staff and recently got an extension at the ISI. When it gets personal, it gets rough. And Raymond Davis gave ISI the opportunity to hit back.

Many journalists and politicians, including a former Foreign Minister, polished their image using Raymond Davis. Nobody wants to talk about the dozens who die on a daily basis because of the drone attacks. That breach of sovereignty and continuous chain of murders is not popular enough these days and doesn’t appeal anymore to the masses. Playing with popular sentiments is the oldest game in Pakistani politics. And guess what? It still works.

The government handled the Raymond Davis case in the most inappropriate way. Their conduct was shameful by all means. But let’s not put all the blame on the sitting government alone. There are more players in the national policy game that never let the limelight hit them.

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