February 13, 2011 12:35:32 am
Pakistans former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi paid the price for not toeing the ruling partys line on providing diplomatic immunity to the jailed US official Raymond Davis,facing a murder charge for shooting down two Pakistanis in Lahore.
Qureshi,who was dropped from his high-profile foreign affairs portfolio,was one of two persons who were on the wrong side of the prevalent dominant wisdom and desire of somehow finding a way to retrospectively cough up diplomatic immunity for Davis during a meeting held in the presidency a few days ago to discuss the case,The News daily reported.
An adamant Qureshi,who had strongly argued the case that (Davis) did not enjoy unlimited diplomatic immunity under law,flatly refused and even said that if need be,hed rather resign than become an accessory to multiple murder, the paper claimed.
The report did not identify the other person who was against granting immunity to Davis but implied that he was Inter-Services Intelligence agency chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha.
But since one of the erring two dared not be arbitrarily fired,poor Qureshis fate stood sealed, it said.
The highly secretive meeting,convened by President Asif Ali Zardari,was also attended by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani,Law Minister Babar Awan and Interior Minister Rehman Malik.
The meeting focussed on the issue of Davis and Pakistan-US relations. Qureshi skipped the swearing-in ceremony for Gilanis new cabinet on Friday after he learnt that he would not be reallocated the foreign affairs portfolio.
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