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Centre says itís courtís decision

17 March, 2011

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ISLAMABAD: The Presidency on Wednesday came up with a calculated reaction on the release of American killer Raymond Davis, saying that it was the courtís decision. The government had taken the stance that the matter was in the court and it was up to the court to decide.

ďIt was the courtís decision and from day one, it was the PPPís principled stance that the matter is in court and would only be decided by the court,Ē said Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar when asked to comment on the courtís decision to release Raymond Davis. PPP Secretary Information Qamar Zaman Kaira said the party had taken the stance from the very first day that the issue would be resolved through the court of law. He said the Punjab government had arrested Raymond Davis and he was on judicial remand, while the families of the two killed Pakistanis had accepted the compensation money.

APP adds: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Wednesday that the federal governmentís stance on the Raymond Davis case was very clear as it had always stated that the courts would decide the fate of the accused and it would respect the courtsí verdict.

Addressing a joint press conference along with Minister for Finance Dr Hafeez Shaikh after the meeting of Federal Cabinetís Economic Coordination Committee, she said that the Lahore Sessions Court had made the decision for the US citizenís release after the families of the victims accepted compensation.

She said that Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah had given a statement in this regard and the federal government had asked the provincial government to provide details of the pardon.

Meanwhile, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the acquittal of Raymond Davis by the court was according to law, as the heirs of Faizan and Faheem had used their right of pardon under the Shariah as well as the law of the land.

ďOur law and Shariah provide the right of pardon under Diyat to the heirs,Ē the Punjab law minister told a private television channel.

He said 19 heirs of the killed youths, including 11 heirs from the family of Faizan and nine from the family of Faheem, appeared before the court in Lahore on Wednesday and pardoned Raymond Davis.

The minister said the court asked the 19 heirs separately and one by one if they had pardoned the killer under any pressure, adding that after the heirs pardoned the killer, the court acquitted Raymond Davis.

Rana Sanaullah said the jail authorities released Raymond David after receiving the court judgment. To a question, the Punjab law minister said the heirs had received Rs200 million as Diyat for forgiving Raymond Davis.

He said the whole nation was unanimous in the view that they would accept the court verdict in the case, adding the court had given its verdict as per the desire of the heirs. To a question, the Punjab law minister agreed that the decision was contrary to public sentiments, adding, the courts, however, have to follow law for their decisions.

End.

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