Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 04/2011

Dealing with Davis: Inconsistencies in the US-Pakistan Relationship

Huma Yusuf

March 2011

East-West Center


The nine-week standoff between the United States and Pakistan over the fate of Raymond Davis, an American arrested in Pakistan after shooting two men at a traffic stop, ended on March 16 with his sudden release from jail. Davis was freed under Islamic law, which allows a murderer to receive pardon from the family of his victims on payment of compensation, or "blood money." Religious parties protested the decision, stating that the law had been applied incorrectly to satisfy US demands for Davis' release. Still, media and analysts inside and outside Pakistan have termed the development a "win" for the country. Huma Yusuf discusses how US security interests underpinning US-Pakistan relations, as evidenced in the Davis case, are entrenching ISI's paramount influence in Pakistan further to the great detriment of Pakistan's civilian institutions.