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US presses Zardari to free Davis

Islamabad—The US ambass-ador has asked Pakistan to release American functionary Raymond Davis who was detained after he fatally shot two men in Lahore.

The US Ambassador Cameron Munter delivered the message during a meeting with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Monday.

The Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar declined to comment on the details of the discussion. He said in a statement that “bilateral relations were discussed during the meeting”.

However, sources said, President Zardari clearly told the US that the matter was subjudice and it would be prudent to wait for the legal course to be completed.

Davis shot dead two armed men in what US says in ‘self-defense’. Another person was killed when he was crushed by an American car rushing to the scene to help Davis.

The shooting stoked anti-American sentiments in Pakistan. Such feelings are further inflamed by Shumaila Kanwal’s suicide, the widow of Faheem Ahmed, one of two Pakistanis gunned down by Davis in Lahore last month.

Out of sheer frustration that her husband’s killer would be freed she committed suicide by eating rat poison Sunday.

“I do not expect any justice from this government,” said Kanwal in a statement recorded by the doctor. “That is why I want to kill myself.”

Relatives of the men who were allegedly shot by Davis dead have participated in several protests in Lahore, including one outside the U.S. Consulate where demonstrators shouted “Hang the American killer!”

According to American press, Davis runs a Florida-based security company named M/s Hyperion Protective Consultants. The undercover security company has resemblance with Blackwater.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah taking part in a private TV programme on Monday night said that the Punjab Government could not be pressurized to release Davis. “His case is before the Lahore High Court which has to decide his fate”. His name has already been put on the exit control list to prevent him from leaving Pakistan. Davis is charged on two counts double-murder and possession of illegal weapons.

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