Another US national sent to jail in Pakistan

Saturday, February 26, 2011

ISLAMABAD - A Pakistani court Saturday sent a US national, who was arrested in Peshawar for overstaying his visa, to jail on 14-day judicial remand.

The ruling is likely to hit the already strained ties between Islamabad and Washington over the Raymond Davis affair.

Aaron Mark De Haven, who was arrested Friday, was remanded to judicial custody by the court in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Geo News reported.

Aaron told the court that he was running a private company that provided housing and life support facilities to foreigners.

“I came here on a work visa and have already applied for visa extension,” he said in response to a question by the judge.

He was presented in the court amid tight security where his relatives were also present.

“I have invested in Pakistan. Will I be allowed to wrap up my business in case the decision of deportation is taken,” Aaron asked.

On Jan 27, Davis, a US official, was arrested in Lahore after he shot dead two youths on a motorcycle. He claimed he acted in self-defence as the armed youngsters were trying to rob him.

His arrest has sparked a diplomatic crisis and strained relations between the US and Pakistan. The US has threatened to withhold the $1.5 billion aid package promised to Islamabad for the war on terror.

Since the US and Pakistan disagree on Davis’ diplomatic status, as specified under the Vienna Convention, the issue may get referred to the International Court of Justice, media reports have said.

The intelligence agencies and interior ministry of Pakistan are reportedly collecting data of all foreigners, diplomatic and other staff, in the country and the documents and whereabouts will be thoroughly scanned once again.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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