News Analysis |
Raymond Davis,the notoriously infamous spy contractor who worked for the CIA,has penned down his side of the story of killing two men in broad daylight on Lahore’s busy thoroughfare which triggered a diplomatic crisis between the two allies in January 2011.
The book titled,”The Contractor: How I Landed in a Pakistani Prison and Ignited a Diplomatic Crisis” has adorned the book shelves amid a speculation that the CIA had censored the book to protect Hillary Clinton, who was then the Secretary of State.
The army and the premier agency, ISI,was also doubted by many to have expedited Davis’s safe return.At a time when there was rising anger over drone strikes, this stoked-up anti-American sentiments in Pakistan.
Davis spent nearly two months in detention after which a settlement was reached with the heirs of the victims and he was set free under a legal provision that allows the family of pardoning the killer against a compensation amount.
Political parties and the public were enraged over what they felt was a blatant violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.The army and the premier agency, ISI,was also doubted by many to have expedited Davis’s safe return.At a time when there was rising anger over drone strikes, this stoked-up anti-American sentiments in Pakistan.
He added “My fastest time — including lifting my shirt, drawing my gun, aiming it and firing — was .95 of a second, while my average was 1.1 second. That’s about as long as it takes a hummingbird to flap its wings fifty time or a plane to travel 800 feet.”
The Amazon.com introduces the book which reads, ‘Davis offers an up-close and personal look at the 2011 incident in Lahore, Pakistan, that led to his imprisonment and the events that took place as diplomats on both sides of the bargaining table scrambled to get him out. How did a routine drive turn into front-page news? Davis dissects the incident before taking readers on the same journey he endured while trapped in the Kafkaesque Pakistani legal system. As a veteran security contractor, Davis had come to terms with the prospect of dying long before the January 27, 2011 shooting, but nothing could prepare him for being a political pawn in a game with the highest stakes imaginable,’
Davis narrated the incident and his adroit shooting prowess.“As soon as I saw the gun’s muzzle moving in my direction,I unclicked my seat belt and started to draw the gun.”he wrote claiming that the two attackers could not have known his alacrity.He added “My fastest time — including lifting my shirt, drawing my gun, aiming it and firing — was .95 of a second, while my average was 1.1 second.That’s about as long as it takes a hummingbird to flap its wings fifty time or a plane to travel 800 feet.”
He further said that he used up 10 rounds out of the 17 he had while setting out from home.”Thankfully,all 10 rounds I fired found their intended targets,”he wrote.
Spies rescued the spy
Davis gave out details of his extrication from Pakistan.He categorically said that the ISI orchestrated his ouster.This is an indictment of the then DG ISI,Lt Gen Pasha,who was even otherwise made controversial and was alleged to have helped Imran Khan’s revival in politics.”Several guards led me out of the courtroom through a back entrance. … One of the men opened the door, stepped out into a courtyard, and scanned the horizon … once he’d cleared the area,I was waved through the door and directed to the SUV idling in the courtyard.”
Davis claims that the US administration wanted to bring him out of Pakistan because it had plans to take out Osama bin Laden and knew that it would be impossible to get him out once that operation was carried out.The US did not even take two months after his departure and plucked-out Osama in a unilateral operation near Pakistan Military Academy,Kakul. The generals were berated left,right and center for their inability to detect and take on a massive infringement of sovereignty.
Further he went on to describe the scene in the court and the meeting prior to it in Oman,which was attended by the top military officials from both countries.
Davis delved in detail about the role played by Pasha and his CIA counterpart,Leon Panetta.He writes”no two characters in this unfolding drama worked farther below the waterline than … Panetta and … Pasha.”The latter asked the former about Davis’s credentials and relation with CIA. Panetta said that Davis was not working for his outfit.
“Gen Pasha was angered by Panetta’s response and grew even more so when Ambassador Munter, after clearing it with officials from the White House and State Department, explained to him the exact nature of my job,”Davis writes.Further he went on to describe the scene in the court and the meeting prior to it in Oman,which was attended by the top military officials from both countries.
Pressure will now mount on the army to bring the convicted Indian spy,Kulbushan Jadhav to justice.Perhaps, veneration is at stake.
A big dent
The armed forces are revered by a majority of Pakistanis.Officers and soldiers are given hero status because of them fighting the challenges and threats to the country with a great deal of success.However,the very segment is apprehensive of the military regarding its soft approach on the Dawn Leaks issue.These revelations will harm the image of an institution in which people by and large repose trust.At a time when public support is much-needed,allegations of giving a safe passage to a CIA official is a serious blow.
Pakistan has clamored about the nefarious role played by foreign agencies inside Pakistan.The references to the lead role played by the military top brass in escorting Davis will compel people to think that their all-powerful military chickened-out in front of Uncle Sam.
Pressure will now mount on the army to bring the convicted Indian spy,Kulbushan Jadhav to justice.Perhaps, veneration is at stake.It won’t be long before this new book becomes a bitter pill for the military to swallow.