American charged in Lahore murders is CIA contractor

Activists of the Pakistani fundamentalist Islamic party Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) shout slogans against an alleged US employee during a protest rally in Karachi on February 11, 2011 (AFP Photo / Asif Hassan)
US consulate employee Raymond Davis has been jailed in Lahore for killing two Pakistanis and has caused a diplomatic row between the two nations.

The American was a CIA contractor working on assignment. Hundreds of protesters have descended on Karachi calling for Davis’ execution.

On January 25 Davis allegedly shot and killed two men in a car when he opened fire on them at a red light. While Pakistan has charged him with murder, the Obama administration has insisted the act was in self defense and that as a consulate officer he has diplomatic immunity.

Davis is former Special Forces and allegedly worked with Blackwater,  Pakistani officials told the British newspaper the Guardian "It's beyond a shadow of a doubt," he was in the country with the CIA.

If he is in fact CIA, it will be much harder for the US to maintain the arguments of self defense and diplomatic immunity.

Protesters in Karachi accuse Davis of using excessive force, firing over 10 shots and blatantly making efforts to shoot them mend repeatedly in the back.

"It went way beyond what we define as self-defense," a senior police official told the Guardian.

US President Barack Obama has continued to refer to Davis as a diplomat, and has called for his release, even going as far as to send US Senator John Kerry to Pakistan to negotiate the matter. The Pakistani government said however it was aware of the CIA connection, but was silent due to US pressure.

The Pakistani people have been outraged by the incident, and many have warned of mass riots and protests in the streets if Davis is released.