By Ruchi Talwar
Mar 20, 2011
The fact that Raymond Davis got acquitted in the double murder case is not startling. That the US paid 'blood money,' to secure his release, definitely is.
Thanks to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the United States of America is now Muslim.
In "God" they no longer trust.
Let me explain how.
Some things are very simple for complex America. And self interest is on top of their one-point agenda.
When a woman was flogged in Pakistan's restive Swat Valley for venturing out of her house with a ghair-mehram (forbidden male) a couple of years back, the US condemned the incident, calling it "barbaric". When the Saudi government chopped off the hands of men convicted of robbery, the US criticised it as "medieval." When the provincial government of North Western Frontier Province (now, Khyber-Pukhtoonkhwa) proposed the implementation of Nizam-e-adl (rule of law, though the Islamic version), the US disapproved of it, calling it an act of appeasing the Taliban. But when their own man, Davis was indicted of double murder, they paid diyat (blood money) as compensation to the families of the deceased, as explicitly laid down in Pakistan's constitution by Shariah, and called it their "generosity."
Trouble is, America has way too rich a vocabulary.
So when you accept a verdict handed in accordance with Shariah, you are bound to be Muslim! All these years, the US has been championing a law free of religious influence. Now I believe, they did that just to kill time. For a living, they watch their interests.
Shariah laws have been in place in Pakistan since Zia-ul-Haq's time, in the last leg of the 1970s. To the outside world, what happened in the Davis case may come as uneasy, shocking or unpalatable, but it is strictly in accordance with the law of the land, like it or not. And legalistically, I don't look at the verdict grudgingly, even though personally I may think it is nothing but abominable. That the loss of human life can be monetised, is just, growse. But one can't actually nurse a grudge against Pakistan for that because its very inception was on religious grounds.
Trustworthy sources in Pakistan tell me that that work had begun on Davis's release about a month back. US Senator John Kerry's trip to Pakistan, shortly after a three-member Congressional delegation left Islamabad, was meant to bargain for Davis's release with Pakistan. The families of the victims were dangled a juicy bait: more money than they could have ever thought of and Green Cards. The interior ministry was put on the job of making their passports while the papers for Davis's acquittal under the provision of diyat were being readied.
Moral of the story: you don't bite the hand that feeds you. Corollary: you also don't trample over the hand that cleans up after you.
America needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs America. And, in this case, the converse is also true.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi