2 minute readLahore shooting: US official barred from leaving Pakistan

The Lahore High Court on Tuesday directed authorities to place the name of US official Raymond Davis, who had gunned down two people, on a list that prohibits people from going abroad, a media report said.

Davis will be put on the Exit Control List (ECL) with immediate effect.

A petition had been filed in the high court by barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffri on the grounds that the US official was arrested on charges of killing two Pakistanis, but the US was putting pressure on the authorities concerned to grant him immunity. “The petition had sought the court to stay granting of immunity to the accused and his possible handing over to the US,” Geo TV reported.

The high court, in the preliminary order Tuesday, barred handing over of Davis to the US and also directed that his name be put on the ECL. “The question of diplomatic immunity for the accused will also be decided by the court,” the media report said.

Davis was arrested last Thursday after he shot dead two people riding on a motorbike at a busy intersection in Lahore. He has been under investigation since then and has pleaded that he acted in self-defence.

He has claimed that the two alleged assailants wanted to rob him. The US embassy in Islamabad has demanded diplomatic immunity, which has so far been denied by the government.

Meanwhile, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said the US should wait for the court’s decision in the matter.

Zardari told a visiting US Congressional delegation, which raised the issue with the president, that it would be “prudent” to wait for the legal course, Geo News reported. The president said that he appreciated their concern but the matter was already before the court. “It would be prudent to wait for the legal course to be completed,” he said.

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