LAHORE - The legal battle over the double murder committed by American national Raymond Davis appears to be over as the accused has been flown out of Pakistan.
However, certain questions regarding the haste shown to wrap up the matter and the doubts about the decision by legal heirs of the deceased to pardon the killer, tail the drop scene.
In view of jurists, all has shifted from the legal to the political and the public arena.
Whatever transpires tomorrow, would be for all to see.
There should however be no doubt how the killer got freedom under a deal.
The Raymond case got wide projection at international level to the extent that US President Barrack Obama called for his release and US Senator John Kerry undertook a visit to Pakistan, while contacts at the highest level continued day in day out.
At the public level, the demand was very strong against the release of Raymond.
The case was much broader at the public level on the question of diplomatic immunity for the accused.
But the government did not get into that wrangling, averting odds against it.
On the personal level, the issue was between the two parties that eventually agreed to settle it under the Diyat law.
Former LHC chief justice Dr Javed Iqbal and former LHC judges Dr Khalid Ranjha and Nazir Ahmad Ghazi said that law provides for Diyat and the court has to accept it if both parties make a settlement.
However, the mysterious haste to conclude the matter has raised eyebrows.
Advocate Asad Manzoor Butt, who represented the victims throughout the trial earlier, said the jail authorities did not allow him to enter the courtroom and he was kept in 'detention for four hours till the proceedings were over.
He did not believe that his clients agreed to Diyat of their free will and was mulling the option to lead his 'detention matter to the court of law.
However, with the flight of Raymond outside Pakistan territory, the option of filing an appeal even if the legal heirs were coerced, is almost over.
The promptness reflected the preparations done beforehand to take Raymond out of jail and out of Pakistan.
And the departure of the Punjab CM to London on the eve and hesitant answers to the media questions by the provincial law minister only solidified this assertion.
During the course of investigations, a number of points were flashed by the press such as Raymonds links to the CIA, sophisticated gadgets and photographs of sensitive sites found on him, his mysterious contacts and movements to far-off areas, which all bore direct relevance to the current predicament of the nation on account of unabated terror hits in the country.
No consideration was paid to the probe findings regarding possible espionage charges, which indeed had to come through the prosecution.
Nothing was done on this count and Raymonds case was kept within the limit of double murders for easy settlement through Diyat.
Justice Javed Iqbal said the religion allows Diyat and it is subject to an agreement between the parties and acceptance by the court.
He said the court could however overrule Diyat in case of a brutal act (against the state) or if there are doubts about the agreement otherwise.
In normal circumstances, the court has to admit the agreement.
He maintained that our authorities, particularly the ISI, must already know the security game that is being played in Pakistan and how many Raymonds are roaming around and for what purposes.
In the same breath, he also highlighted the need for economic sovereignty to get national sovereignty.
Dr Khalid Ranjha said America wanted release of its man at all cost, and they eventually got him.
As to Diyat, he said, its purely a matter between the two parties and not the public.
Ranjha said the law requires the court to certify that Diyat was with the free will of the victim parties and without any pressure from any side.
Nazir Ahmad Ghazi said the court could agree on Diyat settlement if it was without pressure.
In the case in question, he said, sections of the Anti-Terrorism Law merited insertion to let a special court try the case, and had that happened, Diyat would have been rendered irrelevance.
He said the ground for Raymonds release was paved after the LHC disposed of the petitions relating to him.
Advocate Ahmar Bilal Soofi said problems might emerge if the heirs later claim they were forced to sign the Diyat document.
But as for the US, they got their man out of harms way.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 17-Mar-2011 here.