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‘Blood money’ paid to kin of Pakistanis killed by U.S. man
Islamabad, Mar 17 (agencies):
Published on 18 Mar. 2011 12:02 AM IST
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The relatives of two Pakistani men killed by an American CIA contractor received a total of about $2.3 million in “blood money,” which helped secure the suspect’s release, a local official said.
Raymond Davis killed the two men in Lahore in January, sparking a diplomatic tussle that strained relations between the United States and Pakistan.
One of the victims was Faizan Haider, whose wife and mother both acknowledged the compensation in court records.
“I have pardoned the American Raymond Davis who killed my husband on January 27th after receiving a blood money of $292, 375,” the victim’s wife, Zahra Shahzad, stated in her affidavit submitted to court.
“I received this money without any pressure or greed.”
The victim’s mother also submitted an affidavit stating the same thing, except for her compensation, which she said was $389,443, court records show.
Haider’s legal heirs got a total of $ 1,161,349 in “blood money,” records said. His heirs are a mother, a wife, three brothers and five sisters. His mother received the highest amount.
Rana Sanaullah, the provincial law minister of Punjab province, told CNN legal heirs of Fahim Shamshad, the other victim, received the same total. Relatives of both victims got a total of $2.34 million from the U.S. government, Sanaullah said.
Davis has said the shooting occurred when the two men tried to rob him at gunpoint as he drove through a busy Lahore neighborhood.
The United States sought his release from a Lahore jail, where he has been held since January on grounds of diplomatic immunity.
He was released Wednesday and is now in Kabul, Afghanistan, for medical examination and rest, according to a U.S. official not authorized to speak for attribution.
“Everybody laughs about my intuition but I just knew in my gut that he would be home,” his wife, Rebecca, told reporters outside their home in Highland Park, Colorado. “It wasn’t a pleasant thing, but it could have been so much worse.”
The decision to release Davis was made by the Pakistanis, and there was “no quid pro quo” between Washington and Islamabad, the U.S. official said. The official declined to comment on whether there was an exchange of the so-called “blood money.”
U.S. officials originally said Davis was a diplomat and later revealed that he is a CIA contractor, intensifying the already highly charged situation.
The killings sparked an outcry in the Asian nation, a key U.S. ally in the war against al Qaeda and Taliban militants in neighboring Afghanistan.
They also led to tensions between the two nations, with Congress warning Pakistani leaders that billions of dollars in U.S. aid were in jeopardy unless he was released.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton applauded the release, but stressed that the U.S. government did not compensate the families. She would not say whether the Pakistanis or a third party did.
“We also have a Department of Justice investigation that has begun into what happened in Lahore. And we’ve communicated our strong support for the relationship between Pakistan and the United States, which we consider to be of strategic importance,” Clinton said during a news conference Wednesday.
Davis had been charged with murder and illegal possession of a firearm, the lawyer said.
He appeared in a Lahore court after the payment was made and was acquitted of the charges in accordance with an Islamic practice known as diyat, or compensation, the lawyer said.
“Diyat,” a part of Islamic law that is enshrined in Pakistan’s penal code, allows victims to pardon a murderer with or without being paid “blood money,” said Saeed U Zaman Saddiqi, the former chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

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