Pakistan Starts to Pave the Way for Detained American's Release


"ABC News carried a story regarding a conversation in Washington between senior U.S. and Pakistani officials," said the statement, released by embassy spokeswoman Courtney Beale. "Although we are unable to discuss the substance of a private diplomatic meeting, U.S. Embassy Islamabad can state categorically that the description of the conversation in this report is simply inaccurate."

U.S. officials declined to specify which details in the story were inaccurate.

Haqqani also denied that he had been threatened.

"The characterization of my conversation with White House officials by ABC News borders fabrication," he said in a statement to ABC News today. "It is not our policy to reveal details of diplomatic conversations. I can say, however, that National Security Adviser Tom Donilon did, indeed, convey the US government's views about the case of Mr. Raymond Davis during a meeting on Monday evening but no ultimatum or threat was given. I conveyed the government of Pakistan's commitment to resolve the matter in accordance with Pakistani and international law. Both sides are working together to resolve the case expeditiously and to continue our multi-faceted strategic partnership."

Pakistani Officials: Shooting Victims Were Members of Pakistani Intelligence

Davis has become a political and intelligence football: he is caught between a federal government ruled by the Pakistan People's party and a Punjab government led by the opposition, which is more skeptical of U.S. policies; and he is caught in an intelligence game because he killed two men working for Pakistan's premiere intelligence agency, according to four Pakistani officials.

A congressional delegation from the House Armed Services committee visited Pakistan last weekend and raised the possibility that Davis' continuing detention would threaten military aid, according to a committee aide. But a senior Pakistani military official denied that was true.

"There were no threats," he said casually, shrugging his shoulders.

But there have been threats delivered to government officials, and the larger problem, those officials say, is that the pressure is boxing them in -- because it is eroding overall support for the United States.

Speaking in private drawing room conversations or in high-end coffee shops, even some of those who support the United States say they feel like they can't support Davis' release, especially not publicly. In their minds, the ambiguous nature of Davis' job, his killing two Pakistanis in broad daylight, and the wide coverage given to U.S. anger in Pakistan has shrunk the public acceptance of all U.S. policies in Pakistan.

"I think the response to the U.S. anger is more aggressive anti-American sentiments," said Ahmed Malik, sitting at the upscale Gloria Jean's coffee in Lahore. He and his friends said the U.S. was "bullying" Pakistan. "I think people feel it's totally unjustified for the Americans to ask for a man who's done something like this" to be released, Malik said.

Their increasing skepticism of U.S. diplomacy was echoed by the senior military official, who discussed Davis' detention on the condition of anonymity.

"It should disturb the U.S. when the liberal class, on the account of U.S. attitude and bullying… is showing a lot of frustration, anger, reservations," the official told ABC News.

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