Forget Aafia, we’ll keep Davis

Published: March 2, 2011

Raymond Davis has been accused of two counts of murder

On Monday, Waseem, the brother of one of the men Raymond Davis has been accused of murdering, announced that he was open to an exchange involving Dr Aafia Siddiqui and Davis. Later, Aafia’s sister Dr Fauzia and mother seconded the idea.

They are not alone. Calls to exchange Aafia for Davis emerged soon after the American was arrested. To me, these do not make much sense as both cases are completely different cases.

Aafia was tried and sentenced to 86 years in a US prison on seven charges. Davis, on the other hand, has been accused of shooting two Pakistani citizens and his case is one of crime, possession of illegal weapons and murder.

He was arrested for murder not an attempted of murder. More importantly, he is a CIA agent.

Why is America so desperate?

The US’ desperate attempts to secure Davis’ release spell out one fact: he is important. His arrest has already led to steps that have exposed America’s clandestine affairs in the region. If an exchange was to take place, we could potentially lose out on information that Davis may have.

The US is obviously uneasy about this. It has warned that ‘funds will stop coming’ and the release based on the Vienna Convention. When nothing seemed to work, some leaders threatened to approach the same International Court of Justice (a court the US has been known to show little regard for in the past.)

Raymond Davis’ case is a gold mine of secrets

As new information is being revealed about this case, our own intelligence agencies are becoming vigilant. Records of other US officials are being scrutinized and information about US operatives working under Joint Special Operations Command programs in Pakistan is surfacing.

This information is reason enough to investigate this case further, instead of coming up with alternatives like an exchange.

We need to follow the trail which uncovers Davis’ possible involvement with Taliban militants and explains why he could have been photographing sensitive areas and defense installations, including army bunkers on the eastern border with India.

Here is a list of items that was allegedly found in Davis’ possession:

  • 100 M7 bullets
  • camera
  • knives
  • medical equipment
  • a pistol with four magazines
  • wire-cutters
  • telescopes

The question we should ask America is this: would they investigate a Pakistani “diplomat” who was carrying these items?

If this situation is handled wisely, it could change the fate of Pakistan. An exchange will be a cheap barter and one which will greatly disadvantageous.

Kiran Nazish

Kiran Nazish

The author is an award-winning journalist and co-founder of a global network of support for women journalists, called the Coalition for Women in Journalism, based in New York. She has covered several countries around the world, including Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Mexico, India, Afghanistan. She tweets at @kirannazish (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Fawad Akbar

    I might be wrong … but heard that he’s also having GPS device .. which helps in drawn attacks …Recommend

  • TightDhoti

    Are you not just paraphrasing Shireen Mazari’s article. A crime has been committed, everyhing else is cirumstantial evidence based on media reports. @Fawad: A GPS device would pin point his location, how would that help in drone attacks if he is sitting in Lahore. Our military helps America with the drone attacks anyways, its no secret, big deal if he had a “GPS” device!

    If this situation is handled wisely, it could change the fate of Pakistan.

    Really? Will it bring an end to the sensless killing, such as that of the Minorities Minsiter today? Will it end inflation? Will it lower petrol prices? Will it create jobs? Will it reduce corruption? Will it magically create schools and hospitals? Will it end feudalism? No, no and no!

    Raymond Davis has committed a crime and he is in court for it. Adding populist rhetoric to make it seem more than it is doesnt help anyone, especially not Pakistanis. Recommend

  • Angelos

    For once, we should act like a soverign country……..for once!!Recommend

  • Kiran N

    @Fawad Akbar:
    Yes Fawad, you are absolutely right.
    I’m thinking what are the possibilities this could be related to Minister’s Assassination today, by TTP who left notes after shooting Shahbaz Bhatti.Recommend

  • Thor

    @Fawad Akbar:
    haha “drawn attacks”.. its “drone attacks”, and you don’t need GPS for that, the “drones” used usually fly with a built-in one, also the hell fires missiles or JDAMs(Joint Direct Attack Munitions) used for bombing have a credited accuracy of as much as 6 feet (2 meters) and they also come with their own mounted navigation equipment.. the target coordinates are provided by a fusion of information from Reapers, Global Hawks, intelligence and Satellite based surveillance.. stop fooling yourself with big words you’re incapable of understanding.. its bitches like you who feed the trolls.. Recommend

  • Saad

    you are right.. Davis should be kept and tried here according to local and international laws, BUT we also want Aafia back…. we should go to International Courts of Justice for her…. She needs us and we are of no help to her…. its devastating…. Recommend

  • Simeone

    Why and how could you ever even think about saying “forget Aafia”!? We will never forget her. We need to send mujahideen to fort worth, Texas to the carswell prison now, armed with extremely heavy artillery to break her free from the clutches of her kidnappers, rapists and torturers, immediately find and rescue her son Suleyman, and literally destroy all of America as revenge for the droning of our children, and the annihilation of the innocents of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the rest of the innocents they have hurt since america’s birth, including tens of millions of natives and tens of millions of African slaves!!! As for Raymond Davis, to him must be given the most brutal and public death imaginable. Also, all innocent women being held in horrendous captivity in Pakistan mist also be freed immediately by force if necessary and those responsible for jailing them severely published. Recommend

  • N

    the government should send Michael Scofield to break Aafia out of prisonRecommend

  • Kiran N

    Good oneRecommend

  • Kiran

    @Thor: Condescending much? How incredibly petty is it of you to ridicule Fawad? It’s disgustingly petty holier-than-thou mentality like yours that we should all be collectively ashamed of. English is not our first language and misspelling words is not a sin; it’s a great accomplishment enough that he is able to refer to ‘drones’ even if he managed to misspell them as ‘drawns’.

    “stop fooling yourself with big words you’re incapable of understanding.. its bitches like you who feed the trolls..” <– just because you understand big, English words makes you oh-so-better than him? Get over yourself, seriously.Recommend

  • lamuel

    nicely described kiranRecommend

  • Ali

    Agreed. There should be a different process for Afias case. it should not be related to this at all

    Raymond Davis is now and internationlly proven culprit/spy/agent…. who has links that are unkind.
    No way should he be given awayRecommend

  • Abdul-Mughis Rana

    Let the Intelligence people take care of him now!Recommend

  • Humayun

    @ Kiran : good one.

    First of all there’s no need to relate Afia’s case with Raymond’s. these are completely two different scenarios.

    Secondly if he’s found to have those kinda equipments and pictures of sensitive installations plus he’s now officially described by the US govt as a spy, what do you think he was doing?
    He was definitely upto something big which the US is embarrassed and caught in a face saving position.Recommend

  • Aamer

    A very well written article. Totally agreed with your viewpointRecommend

  • Ali

    I second you. A recent report says : “His interrogation by the intelligence agencies will help trace other CIA agents involved in ‘unlawful activities’ in Pakistan,”
    Lets hope they find something

    I think if truth comes out, there will be lots of interseting stuff for us to find outRecommend

  • http://none Bangash

    Article is based on anonymous newspaper reports and errant speculation that Davis is CIA Station Chief in Pakistan.

    The Davis case is more about Pakistanis feeling mighty against America than anything related to law or terrorism situation inside Pakistan.Recommend

  • http://none Bangash

    I will also add that Pakistanis are also mistaking US efforts to release their embassy worker that perhaps he is somebody hugely important. Davis job is protection of embassy and personnel stationed there, contractors do not run agents or CIA operations.Recommend

  • C

    Give Davis diplomatic immunity provided that he face charges laid against him by Pakistan in an American court of law, say in Texas. The advantage would be to inform the American people of what their diplomates are up to abroad. Recommend

  • saad

    good article, but the author should have really come up with a better title. the pakistani people will never be ready to forget dr afia.

    and thankyou for this article, this and other articles like this need to be shown to all those people who want davis dead, killing him will be just as bad because all the answers would die with him!Recommend

  • Mujadid

    Well to be honest I m in despair about all of the local and international affairs that are dealt by our agencies, political figures and military. As far as your article is concern, you did a good job pointing out some things. But as u can see it political parties are still making this a part of their agenda so they might get some support from public on the next election. My concern is the youth I am right now teaching students of different classes and they are more aware about the news then their studies. you can ask them and they will give you a solution that would seem better than what our leaders have to offer. Understand one thing if you are brave enough to stand for the truth then speak it otherwise don’t speak at all.

    P.S. I always love to read your articles.Recommend

  • IZ

    Oh nos! A GPS device! Like the ones every car in the US, UK, Japan, Dubai or even Malaysia come equipped with! How shocking! How terrible!

    In fact, there was a GPS device in the second-hand Vitz I used to own a couple of years back. This proves I too was secretly helping with CIA drone strikes! (But the Pakistan army which provides the CIA with use of airbases and refuelling, rearming and storage facilities must never be blamed.)Recommend

  • Wasim Ali

    Yes, you are right at all.Recommend

  • http://India vasan

    This kind of wishing to trade one terrorist (RD) for another (Aafia) can happen only in Pakistan. The way US is blamed for trying to conceal info about RD and his plans, can be argued against Aafia also by the terror loving Pakistanis. What is that Pakistan wants to hide about Aafia and her links to AlQaeda and 9/11 terrorists. Common sense demand both need to be punished for their actions. RD should be punished for killing in broad day light after a thorough investigation about the people he killed. Espionage does not deserve capital punishment as demanded by many. It does deserve extradition.Recommend

  • Aalay

    You seem to be missing a lot of information yourself as well. …. please do the research before talking abut it…
    About the various information that every body has right now,, what do you expect the media to be doing if the information they are providng is not reliable… international media, including guardian and bbc have declared him CIA agent which was later confirmed by US officials.

    Are you sleeping?Recommend

  • Aalay

    Aafia is already tried in the US, we do not need to hide anything about her.
    We didnt get so nervous about her, when she was being tried and punished and kept in brutal condition,, in jails all alone with men.
    Does any society appreciate this?
    Ours do notRecommend

  • sana

    Lol. Do we think its about the GPS device? Really? thats what you think??
    Its what was in that GPS device… Militant connection.

    Now an american has connections with militant groups and you are fine with it… if a Pakistani did, you would have been all accusative.

    Now how is that fair??? Recommend

  • daniyal rehmani

    absolutely.. both cases are of different nature.. Recommend

  • Jeddy

    He is a vital source of information – it will expose all the people who hare conducted acts of terrorism in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Abuzar

    I heard Dr. Samar Mubarak Mand saying on Tv that we can produce 50,000 Megawatts of electricity each year for the next 500 years and 100 million barrel of diesel each year from the coal in Thar, Sindh.

    We have copper and gold reserve worth around more than $3 trillion in Reko Dek, Baluchistan ( )

    Do we still need their 3 billions dollars each year ?Recommend

  • sana

    “My concern is the youth I am right now teaching students of different classes and they are more aware about the news then their studies. you can ask them and they will give you a solution that would seem better than what our leaders have to offer”
    You are so right on this… these leaders have nothing to do .. all they ever can is meddle with moneyRecommend

  • Atif Qureshi

    GREAT JOB Buddy you did a good job pointing out some things. But as u can see political parties are still making this a part of their agenda so they might get some support but as you said “The question we should ask America is this: would they investigate a Pakistani “diplomat” who was carrying these items”
    he’s found to have those kinda equipments and pictures of sensitive installations plus he’s now officially described by the US govt as a spy, if he wasnt doing anything, what the hell he was doning in pakistan the? he travelle millions of miles for nothing he was definitely upto something big which the US is ritenow embarrassed and is caught in a defensive position.
    about the barter part I agree with you that we can get a lot of vital information from him all the way from his HQ in states to his mission’s his fellow men mission’s and all that they have done and plan to do in the near future leaving to me for the last thing i want to say is exchange of Raymond Davis for Afia is not going to do us any good. Recommend


    I get a faction of the ISI that is loyal to General Musharraf to slaughter Pakistani’s. It is not possible for a westerner to get around the FATA. That way we destabilize the country allowing the return of the general and force Pakistan to go into the FATA, SW, Swat etc. Recommend


    The Marriott, the Sri Lankan Cricket team, the suicide bombing all ISI.


    Maybe the General does not want to return, so we will push up the oil and food prices and turn Pakistan into Libya and then seize the nuclear arsenal to prevent a broken arrow. I am going to starve you all. Recommend

  • Jack

    Why all the uproar? Davis acted in self-defense. The people he killed were robbers with guns and stolen mobile phones/money is their possession. Why is everyone so busy defending thieves, yet no noise is made for Salman Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti or the many killed in suicide bombings.

    Obviously Davis is a spy, but he should only be tried for the death of the innocent motorcyclist who was run over, not the two dacoits he killed. Recommend

  • Syed Bilal Haider

    I don’t want Afia Sidiqi back in Pakistan, & certainly not on an exchange with Raymond Davis. She was a shady character to say the least, marrying the extremist cousin of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad who had links with other extremists. Afia Sidiqi has nothing useful to contribute for Pakistan, she has no value to Pakistan bar sentiment; whereas Raymond Davis is of extremely high value. As a Pakistani citizen living in the US, it was her responsibility to be a model example of a Pakistani ambassador, but she failed to do that. She was even involved in suspicious stuff here in the US, and frankly, she disgraced people of Pakistani origin living in the US, just like Faisal Shahzad did (even though he became a naturalized US citizen). Recommend

  • Kiran N

    @Syed Bilal Haider:
    Exactly my point Bilal. We don’t want to support somebody who has a clear history of involvements.. she was disappeared in Pakistan in 2003, and then found in Afghanistan in 2005.. where was she 2 years, why was her family silent?

    Read the full piece here : link textRecommend

  • Suneet

    Wakke up Jack and all other Jack-like.
    I cant beleive you guys still are rubbing the nose ove “killef robbers”

    thats how you kill robbers?
    You dont shoot htem in the knee?
    You shoot them in the skull?

  • Syed Bilal Haider


    This is old news, it has been unequivocally proven that Raymond Davis did not shoot in self-defense. He was a covert spy, mercenary contracted by Blackwater, who was responsible for many of the nefarious activities all over Pakistan. These are no more conspiracy theories, but well established facts. Raymond Davis has tarnished the image of the American people beyond repair, on top of the disgraceful Afghan war. The US troops, please come back, and let Afghanistan and Pakistan live in peace. We have caused enough harm in the region.Recommend

  • Suneet

    @Syed Bilal Haider:

    I dont think US troops can bring any positive change

    Waht we need to do is to filter Pakistan while having an interim government,, take down all the politicians and revive the systemRecommend

  • http://none Bangash


    Kiran’s article is based entirely on anonymous newspaper reports, which are not reliable. She is also making same mistake that you are, thinking Davis is at the same level as CIA station chief in Islamabad, Davis is just a CIA contractor, these folks are assigned protection duties.

    Conspiracy theorists in Pakistan now believe that Davis is proof of CIA support for terrorism in Pakistan, while at the same time claiming GPS found in Davis car means he was linked to CIA drones, which are used to kill terrorists.

    Kiran’s article is more of the same nonsense.Recommend

  • http://none Bangash

    @Syed Bilal Haider

    Wow, you talk as if Afghanistan was in beautiful peace before 9/11, and Pakistan was also a paradise. How come no peace and prosperity blossomed in the region after US left in 1989 ? Recommend

  • Malik

    Please don’t say bad things about abba jee US. Yes ghairat is not an issue when taking $$$, only when services have to rendered against them then everyone becomes very ghairatmand.Recommend

  • Nayab

    Pakistanis should all wake up now!.. it’s time we realize that America can never be our friend out of it’s own interest.. it’s very sad to see how our own intelligence agencies and the government have failed and people like Davis are still roaming around the country fearlessly. Recommend

  • rofl

    So, now your article is a total waste. Raymond is eating McChicken in NY now.Recommend