by Jamil Bhatti
ISLAMABAD, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) — Thousands of people Friday protested against the killing of three Pakistanis by two employees of U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Lahore.
Police, on high security alert, on Friday afternoon presented the U.S. national Raymond Davis, earlier known as Steve David, before the court in Lahore. Judicial magistrate Zafar Iqbal on the request of police handed Davis, the alleged killer, over to police for six days on physical remand.
When police [were] presenting him before court, thousands of raged Pakistanis were protesting against the incident, during which five others were also injured. Elsewhere, hundreds of workers of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf of Imran Khan got together in [the] capital Islamabad and marched towards the U.S. embassy to vent their anger but police did not allow them to enter into the red zone area. They chanted slogans and delivered speeches against America [sic].
Earlier, police requested District and Session Judge [sic] to send a magistrate to [the] police station for Davis because of security threats as the thousands of [en]raged people were waiting for the Davis appearance before the court. But the judge refused it and ordered to bring him before [the] court at any cost.
Pakistani people and media have been describing Davis as a spy working for [the] U.S. army or Blackwater private security company. They said different clues proved that he was spy and was on some secret mission.
Davis opened fire at two young civilians, Faizan Haider, 20, and newly married Faheem, 22, apparently harmless to him, and killed them on spot on Thursday afternoon at Qartaba Chowk, a busiest [sic] area of Lahore.
After the killing he made [a] video of them, called his other companions and tried to run away from the site. But police commandos chased and arrested him a few kilometers away from the crime scene.
The driver of the vehicle, [who] came to aid him, drove rashly, violated traffic rules, hit many motorcycles and a rickshaw and injured six people including school children. Later one of the injured, Ubaidur Rehman, who was scheduled to marry next month, succumbed to injuries.
Three cases, including one for a double murder, have been registered against the U.S. diplomats involved in the dramatic shooting and hit-and-run incidents. Davis has been charged for two cases, killing two men on a motorbike allegedly in self-defense, and keeping an illegal gun without any license or permit. [H]is unknown companion, also an American riding a Land cruiser, was charged for planned murder case [sic] for crushing a bike rider to death.
Davis told police that those two guys tried to rob him and in his defense he shot them. But [the] autopsy report, released on Friday, revealed that all the seven bullets hit the deceased guys at their back sides which hinted that the victims were not doing any wrong thing with him.
Two handguns were found close to the victims’ bodies but Muhammad Aslam Tarin, Chief City Police Officer (CCPO), confirmed that all three deceased had no previous criminal records and none of them tried to rob or fired at Davis.
Tareen further said that the American diplomat had shot at them first and not a single bullet was fired from deceased pistols.
According to Haider’s family, he had left the house for the court to pursue a case against the killers of his brother who gunned him down a month ago. The family said that Haider carried a licensed pistol but only for self-defense.
An eyewitness from Lahore said that Davis stopped his car at traffic signal and then after him two motorcyclists also stopped and then suddenly bullets fired from inside the car at [sic] the back of those two boys.
“Why did he fire at them [sic] is not understandable, the victims were only waiting for green signal with their backs to him and he killed them,” the eyewitness said, asking for anonymity.
Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani on Friday condemned the incident and said justice will be done according to law.
Rehman Malik, federal interior minister, showed his suspicions; why Davis was having [sic] the gun and what he was [sic] doing in the busiest area of the city.
“We have asked U.S. consulate to handover the other American driver and the car till [sic] Friday evening that crushed a civilian,” Rana Sana Ullah, Punjab law minister, told media.
“We fear that the U.S. national was on some secret mission in that area that is why he was so over active [sic] and frightened,” the law minister added.
U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley confirmed Friday that the killer was a U.S. national and an employee at the U.S. consulate in Lahore.
But Crowley refused to give any further details on the shooting that occurred in a country where anti-American sentiments are at peak over civilian casualties inflicted by U.S. pilot-less planes operations in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.
“We want to make sure that a tragedy like this does not affect the strategic partnership that we’re building with Pakistan,” the spokesman told reporters in Washington.
[Edited by Zuo Shou 左手]
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