An American CIA contractor who shot and killed two Pakistani men was released from prison Wednesday and left Pakistan after more than $2 million in "blood money" was paid to his victims' families, defusing a dispute that threatened an alliance vital to defeating al-Qaida and ending the Afghan war.
Hamid Gul, a former ISI chief turned cheerleader for right-wing causes, said on a popular TV talk show. "This is shameless surrender. We are being sold and not even told about, I appeal the people not only to condemn it, but also rise against it."
Davis, a 36-year-old Virginia native, claimed he acted in self-defense when he killed the two men on the street in the eastern city of Lahore. The United States initially described him as either a U.S. consular or embassy official, but officials later acknowledged he was working for the CIA, confirming suspicions that had aired in the Pakistani media.
The U.S. said the two victims were robbers, but there has been persistent speculation they were employed by the ISI to trail him or were known to him, perhaps as his own informers in the city. Their families insisted they were regular citizens, but acknowledged one was carrying a gun.
The United States had insisted Davis was covered by diplomatic immunity, but the weak government here, facing intense pressure from Islamist parties, sections of the media and the general public, did not say whether this was the case — and now will presumably not have to do so at all.
Rebecca Davis said she was elated when she learned of her husband's release in a phone call at 6:30 a.m. She said she doesn't know where the money paid to release her husband came from.
"I knew it was self-defense. My husband is not a killer. He's not a Rambo," she said, speaking outside her home in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
The payment of "blood money" had been suggested as the best way to end the dispute for the Pakistani government and the United States, but the speed in which the deal was done and Davis left the country surprised many here. The practice, which comes from Islamic law, is common and legal in Pakistan, but criticized by human rights groups.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said Davis was charged with murder Wednesday in a court that was convened in a prison in Lahore, but was immediately pardoned by the families of the victims after the payment. Reporters were not allowed to witness the proceedings.
"This all happened in court and everything was according to law," said Sanaullah. "The court has acquitted Raymond Davis. Now he can go anywhere."
U.S. officials said Davis left the country soon after his release from jail.
Raja Muhammad Irshad, a lawyer for the families, said 19 male and female relatives appeared in court to accept the $2.34 million from the U.S. One Pakistani official said the sum was just under twice that, while other media outlets reported the amount was between $700,000 and $1.4 million.
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i recieve some Comments from my Twitter Account on it
1.if Raymond Davis writes his biography, what would it be called? 'Shariah saved my ass'.
2. The release of Raymond Davis is indicator of our weak foreign policy and weak Judicial system.The tool of diyyat.
3. Raymond davis - local n intl interviews given- topi drama
Raymond Davis will soon appear in Nat Geo's Jailed Abroad. he will surly tell his story of success and says Islamic Law provide me Protection.