WITH THE POSSIBLE EXCEPTION of the wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, whose dropped catches in the Cricket World Cup 2011 infuriated millions of his countrymen, no single man has galvanised the fury of Pakistanis quite like the CIA contractor Raymond Allen Davis.
The twists and turns in the saga of Davis, without a doubt the most infamous foreign visitor in Pakistan’s recent history, have kept the country glued to TV sets and newspapers since he was arrested on 27 January after shooting two men, Faizan Haider and Mohammad Faheem, allegedly in self-defence, on a Lahore street. After a protracted diplomatic struggle that tested the fragile US-Pakistan alliance, the curtain finally fell on 16 March, after the families of Davis’ victims agreed to accept a staggering $2.34 million in “blood money”, leading to Davis’ release. It was Shariah law, in the end, that saved the day.
“Let the mullahs try to criticise this now,” my communist uncle exclaimed with a laugh as he watched right-wing TV commentators and analysts attempting to explain that the blood money deal was yet another conspiracy foisted upon Pakistan.
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