Davis was traveling through a lower middle class part of Lahore on Thursday, Jan. 27, when the incident took place. The men he shot had been following him for at least two hours, one of the Pakistani officials claimed, and recorded some of his movements on their cell phone cameras. Davis has a U.S. Special Forces background and runs Hyperion Protective Consultants, LLC, a company that provides "loss and risk management professionals."
The U.S. embassy in Islamabad refused to respond to questions about why Davis was armed, who he had been calling, or whether he was found in a sensitive part of the Lahore cantonment.
That the ISI sent the equivalent of two hired guns to trail Davis is a sign that the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistani intelligence agencies is at a low point, according to all four officials quoted in this article. In October, the ISI helped reveal the name of the CIA station chief -- inadvertently, according to a separate, senior Pakistani official -- forcing the station chief to leave the country.
The two men's alleged connection to the intelligence services was first reported by a Pakistani newspaper, the Express Tribune.
The U.S. has also threatened Pakistan's military with cutting off some of its aid if Davis is not released. Last week, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Buck McKeon, R.-California, traveled to Pakistan and met with Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, the Pakistan Army chief of staff, as well as Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.
McKeon and the congressional delegation pointed out that U.S. anger could extend to the floor of the House if Davis is not released – and that could threaten the Pakistani military's more than $2 billion in aid per year.
McKeon said that he "could foresee a member of Congress coming to the floor and offering an amendment to strike military funding for Pakistan," an aide to the House Armed Services Committee told ABC News.
The U.S. officials who deny that the men Davis shot were intelligence officials believe Davis is being held despite his diplomatic immunity because of fears that releasing him might cause domestic unrest. He is being held in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, where Zardari's chief political opposition controls the provincial assembly. Some of the government's political opponents -- as well as some parts of the Pakistani media -- benefit from stories that suggest U.S. contractors or spies operate throughout the country.
The Pakistani officials agreed with that, acknowledging that Davis' release could at least temporarily weaken the federal government and spark protests in Lahore and perhaps across the country.
Adding to the pressure on Pakistan not to release Davis, the wife of one of the men he killed committed suicide Sunday by taking a tablet usually used to keep grain in a silo from going bad in the winter. When she first arrived at the hospital she was still able to speak, and her doctors allowed television reporters to interview her. She released a diatribe of hate to describe why she swallowed the tablet.
"I do not expect any justice from this government," Shumaila Kanwal said. "That is why I want to kill myself.
"I want blood for blood," she said. "The way my husband was shot, his killer should be shot in the same fashion."
Last Thursday, Davis appeared in court without a translator and without prior notification to the U.S., the Islamabad embassy said in a statement. U.S. officials say those events convinced them Davis could not receive a fair trial in Pakistan. The judge extended his detention for another eight days. He is next scheduled to appear in court on Friday, Feb. 9.
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