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Home / Homepage / Shahbaz claims Raymond Davis book proves he was right

Shahbaz claims Raymond Davis book proves he was right

LAHORE: (Web Desk) With the book by CIA contractor Raymond Davis continuing to create ripples in the country, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday said his government had nothing to do with the American citizen’s release from prison back in March 2011.

“I had declared in my press conference at the time of Davis’ release that the Punjab government had [played] no role in it, nor had it provided the funds for payment of diyat (blood money) to the heirs of Pakistanis killed by the American national,” he told media personnel.

“Now the book of Raymond Davis has ‘seconded’ the claim and set the record straight by making it clear that neither the PML-N [Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz] government nor I or Nawaz Sharif played any role in the release,” the chief minister said.

“Ask the people mentioned in Davis’ book about his release from prison,” he said in response to a question, adding that “names of those who approached the victims’ families [to make them accept blood money] also stand exposed”.

On Saturday, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan had called for formation of a joint investigation team to determine who had paid Rs240 million on behalf of Davis to heirs of the people killed by the CIA contractor as per the diyat law.

In an interview with a private television channel, Mr Khan had claimed that the provincial government had been pressured to stop it from lodging an FIR in the case but the government went ahead and registered a case against Davis.

In his interaction with journalists, Mr Sharif did not seek to give the impression that demo­cracy was under threat following the launch of an investigation into the Panama Papers allegations, unlike some key PML-N leaders.

“The vehicle of democracy is moving [smoothly] on an asphalt road and is moving forward. No one will want to damage the asphalt road or overturn the vehicle,” he said.

In response to a question about the ongoing “political unrest” in the country, the chief minister recited an Urdu verse: “Yeh tau chalti hai tujhay ooncha udanay kay liay (it blows to make you fly high).”

He chided his opponents for criticising the Punjab government on the lack of burn units in the province, which led to a high death toll in the oil-tanker fire incident.

“One of the world’s best burn units is operational in Multan while burn units are also working in Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and other major Punjab towns,” said Mr Sharif.

He urged his political opponents to put their own house in order because, according to him, no burn unit is working in the provinces being ruled by their parties.

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