‘US-Pakistan engagements will continue’

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

THIMPHU - Amid reports that the US has put on hold high-level bilateral contacts with Pakistan over the continued detention of Raymond Davis, Islamabad Tuesday stressed that engagements between the two sides would continue.

“I am quite sure that as the relationship between the US and Pakistan is important, engagement will continue,” Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, who is here to attend a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) meeting, told a private Indian news channel.

He was answering a query on whether US was prepared to cut off high-level contacts with Pakistan.

Scaling up pressure on Pakistan for the release of Davis, arrested for fatally shooting two Pakistanis in Lahore, the US reportedly put on hold high-level bilateral engagements with Islamabad.

The Barack Obama administration has suspended all high-level dialogue with key ally Pakistan, The Washington Post quoted US and Pakistani officials as saying.

Davis was arrested after he shot dead two people riding on a motorbike at a busy intersection in Lahore Jan 27. He has been under investigation since then and has claimed that he acted in self-defence.

He has claimed that the two alleged assailants wanted to rob him. The US embassy in Islamabad has demanded diplomatic immunity, which has so far been denied by Pakistan government.

Islamabad has put Raymond Davis and three other Americans on a list that prohibits them from leaving the country.

The US has been trying to put pressure on the Pakistani government.

Bashir said that the matter of Davis “was before the courts and is sub-judice”.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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