Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Civil society protests against killings in Lahore

Hundreds of protesters belonging to civil society, trade unions and legal fraternity staged a protest demonstration at Chur Chowk here on Tuesday against US national Raymond Davis who allegedly killed three Pakistanis in Lahore.

Holding placards with slogans against Raymond Davis, the demonstrators blocked traffic for more than an hour and demanded justice for victims. They said that the government of Pakistan should not succumb to the US pressure and punish Raymond Davis according to the law of the land.

The protesters said that Shumaila Kanwal, who committed suicide on February 6 in an attempt to secure justice for her husband allegedly killed by Raymond Davis in Lahore, was the daughter of the whole nation. They said that it was now the responsibility of Pakistani leadership to give justice to the families of the victims.

Shumaila Kanwal was the widow of Muhammad Faheem, one of two men who were allegedly shot and killed last month by Raymond Davis.

Azhar Mir, a social activist, while addressing the protest rally, said that police were trying to prove the two men criminals because of the US pressure. “All members of civil society are with the family of Shumaila Kanwal and they will not allow anyone to let Raymond Davis leave Pakistan,” he added.

He said that it was a test case for the federal and Punjab governments and if anyone would let Raymond Davis back to his country he would face public wrath, as Pakistanis were against the killing of innocent people. “The government should clarify its viewpoint and tell the nation about the status of Raymond Davis,” he said, adding that the media was playing a very important role and portraying the true picture of Americans.

Malik Humayun, another member of civil society, said: “Our government should not give immunity to Raymond Davis, as he is not a diplomat. No one has the right to kill any Pakistani. We trust our judiciary, but our leaders are under immense US pressure If Raymond Davis is released, every Pakistani will come out in the streets to protest against the government.”