Islamabad: Renowned American journalist David Ignatius has revealed that Raymond Davis was released after a deal that involved Pak President, key opposition leaders and the country’s top intelligence agency.
He disclosed in an article in The Washington Post that many Pakistani officials were involved in the deal. He said Pakistani Ambassador in Washington Hussain Haqqani suggested blood money deal to Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.
Kerry visited Pakistan and called on President Asif Ali Zardari, the leaders of Punjab government and with top officials of the ISI. He said Haqqani also visited CIA Director Leon Panetta the evening of February 28 to share the “blood money” idea with him, according to a US official. The final details were worked out by Panetta and ISI Director General Ahmed Shuja Pasha.
Citing US and Pakistani sources, he said the process that led to Davis’s release Wednesday included a series of steps: First, the US agreed to pay compensation to the families of the two Pakistanis Davis killed on January 27. A Pakistani lawyer quoted by the Associated Press said the total payments amounted to $2.3 million. Another Pakistani source told Ignatius the payments were less than $1 million for each family. According to a US official, the actual negotiations were conducted by Pakistanis, but the US government agreed to pay the bill.
He further wrote in his article that after the families agreed to forgive Davis, the settlement was recognized by the trial court in Punjab, which could then dismiss the murder charges under what is described as a standard process in Pakistani murder cases.
The final piece of the settlement may be the most complicated. Pakistani officials say discussions will begin soon with the CIA about the “rules of engagement” in Pakistan. “If it’s a CIA operation, the ISI needs to know,” explained one Pakistani official.
The CIA has a roughly similar policy of “declaring” its personnel and operations with some other countries with which it has close intelligence ties, such as Britain, France, Israel and Jordan.
A US official confirmed that the CIA is planning to discuss the “contours” of the relationship, but he said there was no formal “quid pro quo.” This official explained that the CIA “is always willing to discuss Pakistani concerns and work them through.”