Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pakistanis condemn CIA agent release

Pakistanis shout slogans as they march toward the US embassy during a protest against the release of CIA contractor Raymond Davis in Islamabad on Wednesday March 16.

Source: Press TV

Pakistani people have staged street protests to voice their outrage at the release of a CIA contractor charged with killing two men in Lahore.

Anti-US demonstrations broke out on Wednesday in the capital, Islamabad, and similar protests were held in the major cities of Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.

In Lahore, baton-wielding police forces tried to disperse the demonstrators who had gathered in front of the US consulate, injuring several protesters.

Pakistani officials say Davis was released after he paid the blood money for the victims. However, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has denied any payments for securing the release.

Family members of the slain men appeared in the court and confirmed that they had pardoned Davis. But the move was clouded with reports that they were pressured by police into signing the agreement.

Davis killed two locals in the eastern city of Lahore in January in a move repeatedly claimed by Washington to be an act of “self-defense.”

The US insisted that as a consulate official, Davis enjoyed diplomatic immunity, but he eventually turned out to be working for CIA.

Pakistan has since been under mounting pressure to release Davis. US lawmakers had threatened to cut millions of dollars in military and other aid to Islamabad.

The case has soured relations between Islamabad and Washington since January and intensified anti-US sentiments in Pakistan.

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