and Ch Aamer Waqas ISLAMABAD/LAHORE - In a dramatic tactical move to rescue Raymond Davis, the United States on Saturday demanded immediate release of what it described the man as a US diplomat unlawfully detained by Pakistanis authorities in Lahore. Raymond Davis, previously described just as a consulate employee, was arrested over Thursdays shooting that resulted in the death of three Pakistanis he said he killed in self-defence. Interestingly, Islamabad followed somewhat a cautious response to the US claim and so far did not recognise Raymond Davis as a diplomat. The Foreign Office in a statement said that the matter of killing of three Pakistanis in Lahore involving a US functionary is sub-judice in the court of law and the legal process should be respected. The Foreign Office Spokesman said that the Punjab Police is handling the investigation and its report is awaited. When detained, the US diplomat identified himself to police as a diplomat and repeatedly requested immunity under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the US Embassy said in a statement. It added, The local police and senior authorities failed to observe their legal obligation to verify his status with either the US consulate general in Lahore or the US embassy in Islamabad. Furthermore, the diplomat was formally arrested and remanded into custody, which is a violation of international norms and the Vienna Convention, to which Pakistan is a signatory. The diplomat, assigned to the US embassy in Islamabad, has a US diplomatic passport and Pakistani visa valid until June 2012, the statement said. Recalling the events that led to Daviss arrest, it said the diplomat acted in self-defence when confronted by two armed men on motorcycles. The diplomat had every reason to believe that the armed men meant him bodily harm. Minutes earlier, the two men, who had criminal background, had robbed money and valuables at gunpoint from a Pakistani citizen in the same area. The embassy expressed regret that this incident resulted in loss of life and said it was committed to working closely with the Pakistani government to secure the immediate release of the diplomat, as required under Pakistani and international law. According to legal experts Pakistan will have to take cognisance of the US request to release its diplomat and were of the view that Pakistan will be bound to release the accused killer following the US claim that he is a diplomat enjoying immunity. He would be repatriated and might be tried for charges framed against him in a US court of law. Meanwhile, US Ambassador in Pakistan Cameron Munter on Saturday telephoned PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif. Expressing grief over the killing of three Pakistanis in Lahore, Munter opined that the US Embassy official, Raymond Davis, should be given in their custody since he enjoyed diplomatic immunity. Nawaz told the US ambassador that the sad incident had caused deep sorrow and grief to the entire nation wherein three precious lives had been lost. The matter was sub judice and the court was the competent authority to decide the matter, says a press release.