ISLAMABAD - Former interior minister and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Rehman Malik said on Thursday that Central Intelligence Agency agent Raymond Davis’ book ‘The Contractor’ was plotted by India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

Addressing a news conference here, the PPP senator termed the book a “pack of lies” and a conspiracy of the RAW.

“I have documentary proofs that Raymond Davis was approached by RAW’s Additional Secretary Jagnathan Kumar for writing the book (The Contractor) in order to malign the Inter-Services Intelligence, the Pakistan military, and the civilian leadership,” he claimed.

In 2011, Davis was charged with killing two Pakistani men in Lahore. A third Pakistani man was killed when he was struck by a vehicle racing to Davis’ aid. In the book, the CIA agent has provided details how the Pakistan civil and military leaders helped to save his life.

Senator Malik said that Raymond Davis was passing through a difficult time of his life due to extensive debts and tried to commit suicide, not for once but multiple times.

“Only last year, Raymond Davis was under a huge debt of $700,000 and his wife Rebecca has taken separation from him and was dislocated from his hometown,” he said.

He said that due to his miserable financial condition, Raymond Davis was an easy prey so he was sponsored by the RAW and the book was written through a ghost-writer.

Senator Malik said that he was astonished how a person like Raymond Davis who was passing through worst financial crisis could circulate the book for free across the world.

“The book was spread and circulated across the world in PDF form via internet and Whatsapp only to malign Pakistan,” he said.

The lawmaker said that India was continuously hatching a conspiracy against Pakistan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was campaigning against Pakistan across the world “but sadly our government is busy in the Panama Papers case.”

He said all the ministers had been deputed outside the Federal Judicial Academy to defend the Sharif family while Pakistan was being pushed towards isolation.

Senator Malik revealed that former Secretary of State John Kerry had actually requested him to grant diplomatic immunity to Raymond Davis enabling him to return home, but “I categorically denied the request of John Kerry and informed him that he cannot be given diplomatic immunity because he had been working just an ordinary employee in Counselor General Lahore. I clearly told him that Raymond Davis had to face the trial according to the law.”

The PPP leader said that he as the interior minister had earlier informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the prime minister that Raymond Davis neither could be deported nor given diplomatic immunity.

He said that he had already placed Davis’ name on the exit control list and the then president Asif Ali Zardari and prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani were fully briefed on the matter.

Senator Malik said that he was approached by Dr Fozia Siddiqui, sister of Pakistani national Dr Afia Siddiqui – imprisoned in the US - who proposed that the government may consider exchanging Dr Afia Siddiqui with Raymond Davis.

“It was a good idea to get Dr Afia Siddiqui back to Pakistan in exchange for Raymond Davis, subject to the clearance of the court. There had been a persistent demand of bringing Dr Afia Siddiqui back to Pakistan. I had earlier got her two sons recovered from Afghanistan,” he claimed.

Senator Malik said that with the approval of the PPP leadership, he spoke to John Kerry accordingly, who said that he would take up the matter with Washington and discuss the idea. 

The lawmaker said that he waited but he did not hear anything from John Kerry on this proposal and it looked that as if Americans were not interested in exchanging Dr Afia Siddiqui with Raymond Davis.

In the meantime, he said, a high level meeting was held at the President’s House and the then ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha told “the meeting that Americans are more interested in exercising the right of 'Diyat (blood money)' under Islamic laws for Raymond Davis as per the advice of their lawyers.

Senator Malik said the high-powered meeting decided that neither Raymond Davis would be deported nor he will be granted diplomatic immunity and “we will wait for the decision of the Court in the matter and no action would be taken through any executive order.”

He said that the matter was dealt as per the course of law with the cooperation of the Punjab government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior and others also played their role,” he said.

Senator Malik said that he had all the documentary proofs that what role was played by the Punjab government and its leadership in the matter of Raymond Davis.

He claimed that the PPP leadership and other stakeholders including Gen (retd) Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and Gen (retd) Pasha supported his decision to deny diplomatic immunity to Davis.

“No such role was played by the then director general of the ISI in the release of Raymond Davis as claimed by Raymond Davis in his book,” he claimed.

The PPP leader said that as the matter was decided in the court of law and Raymond Davis was set free not by Shahbaz Sharif or by the federal government. “The court had decided the matter as per the “Diyat”, hence it was the decision of court rather executive decision,” he said.

Senator Malik said that there should be no negativity on the matter as the incident took place within the territorial and administrative jurisdiction of Punjab and a First Information Report was registered in Lahore.

“The legal proceeding and investigation was started by the Punjab police and the charge-sheet was also submitted by the Punjab police,” he said.

The PPP leader said that nobody was in favour of giving diplomatic immunity to Raymond Davis as claimed by Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

“Shah Mehmood Qureshi never resigned from ministry over the issue of Raymond Davis but the then prime minister Gilani had dissolved the cabinet on February 9, 2011, to reshuffle. The new cabinet took oath on February 11, 2011, and Qureshi was offered the portfolio of the Ministry of Water and Power or agriculture but he walked out insisted to be the foreign minister,” Malik claimed.

The PPP senator said that Qureshi never resigned as minister for foreign affairs but he left the party for his own political reasons after eight months of the decision of the court in Raymond Davis matter.

He said that world war designers were trying to impose a World War-III in the region and the person being used for the purpose was not other than Indian PM Modi.

“I ask Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to save the country from further isolation and concentrate on the country as much as he and his government is concentrating on the Panama Papers issue,” he said.

Malik advised the prime minister to send ministers to different countries for diplomatic relations rather than sending them daily to the FJA where the Joint Investigation Team is interrogating the Panama leaks “suspects”.