The more we learn of Raymond Davis, the less we know, says Adil Najam. Here is the story thus far: He is a staff member of the U.S. consulate in Lahore who shot dead two Pakistani men two weeks ago in a crowded part of town. He claims it was in self-defense. A vehicle from the U.S. consulate was dispatched to “rescue” Davis and in the process ran over a third person, who also died. Davis was arrested, while the consulate driver has yet to be apprehended. The U.S. wants Davis returned; Pakistan believes the law “should take its course.” Beyond that, however, there are more questions than answers. Is Davis a spy who was caught, as one writer speculated, in a “spy rendezvous” that turned wrong?
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It’s certainly curious that the incident occurred in a part of town that few foreigners frequent. And while Pakistan is “clearly an unsafe place,” why would an embassy official carry a gun? On the other side of the ledger, Davis claims he shot in self-defense at “two men on a motorcycle who tried to rob him at gunpoint.” Anyone who knows Pakistan also knows that this, too, is “entirely possible.” TV footage taken after the incident showed a young man lying dead with a revolver and an ammunition belt. Nothing is known for sure. But the “many explanations that are floating around are very disturbing, but also very plausible.” Which makes this story potentially very dangerous if it is left unresolved.
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