WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Stephen F. Lynch, a South Boston Democrat, is on his way back from a Congressional trip to Pakistan, in which Lynch and other members personally lobbied Pakistani officials on the behalf of a US State Department employee who was arrested and held after shooting two alleged robbers on January 27.
The employee, Raymond Davis, a staff person at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, apparently thought he was about to be carjacked when approached by armed men on motorcycles, said Lynch, speaking by phone this morning from an airport in Madrid. Davis “shot through his own windshield” and killed two alleged attackers, said Lynch. US authorities say Davis has diplomatic immunity, but that claim is being contested.
Lynch said the incident has received inflammatory press coverage in Pakistan that has heightened tensions. “Politically, it’s a difficult situation,” he said.
Lynch and five other members of Congress urged Davis’ release in meetings with Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani, President Asif Ali Zardari and Army Chief of Staff, Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. “At each of these meetings, each of us hit this issue pretty hard,” said Lynch.
The Congressional delegation visited Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. A planned stop in Egypt was canceled due to civil unrest there.
Pakistani authorities are continuing to review Davis' case, said Lynch.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.