Slain Pakistani's Brother: Family Could Forgive Davis If U.S. Releases Siddiqui
February 18, 2011
The brother of one of the two Pakistanis shot dead by an American last month says his family could agree to forgive the accused in exchange for the U.S. release of Pakistani criminal Aafia Siddiqui, RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal reports.
In an interview with RFE/RL on February 17, Waseem Shamshad, the brother of the slain Fahim Shamshad, said his family expected the Pakistani courts to give Raymond Davis -- the man who shot dead Shamshad and another Pakistani in Lahore on January 27 -- the punishment he deserves under the law.
Davis said he shot the two Pakistanis in self defense as they tried to rob him at gunpoint. The U.S. government says Davis has diplomatic immunity but Pakistani officials say he was a security guard and does not have such immunity. A decision on his status is to be made on March 14.
Waseem Shamshad said his family refused to meet a U.S. delegation when they came to discuss the issue.
"They contacted us and said, 'We want to meet you on Wednesday [February 16],' but we told them the same day that 'We don't want to meet you,'" he said. "Our stand is the same from day 1 -- me, my parents, and Fahim's wife -- that [Davis] should be hanged."
Waseem Shamshad added that his family would not accept any financial compensation from the Pakistani or U.S. government in exchange for allowing Davis to be released or returned to the United States.
"[But] my family -- as a last resort to reach a settlement -- would request the release of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. [Other than that] we would not accept anything else [including financial compensation]," he said.
Siddiqui was sentenced last year in the United States to 86 years in prison after being found guilty of attempting to kill her U.S. interrogators in Afghanistan, where she was apprehended and questioned in 2008. Her husband's uncle is Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, a suspected planner of the 9/11 terror attack on the United States.
Fahim Shamshad's brother added that the family trusted the Pakistani courts, but would protest if it did not receive a favorable decision from the judge.
"Our judiciary is independent and we trust it," he said. "But if we found that the judiciary is making a [secret deal], then we shall continue our protest."
Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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