Stating that arrested American national Raymond Davis is a diplomat of the US embassy, the White House on Thursday asked Pakistan to release him in accordance with the Vienna Convention, which provides him the diplomatic immunity.
"Davis was received by the government of Pakistan as an employee of the embassy and he was granted diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Conventions," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters. Pakistan and the US are both signatories to the Vienna convention, along with 185 other countries.
"What we are saying very clearly is that he needs to be released in accordance with those treaties, which apply to the personnel of countries, not just the United States in foreign countries, but Pakistan's employees in the United States and around the globe, and every other country that are participate in those important treaties," Carney said, adding that it's a fundamental principle that can't be compromised.
Davis was arrested on January 27 after he shot and killed two armed men in Lahore.
A lower court in Pakistan is scheduled to begin the prosecution of Davis on a murder charge while the Lahore high court will hear a case to decide his diplomatic status next month.
"What we're talking about here is the fact that he was received by the Pakistani government as an employee of the United States embassy, and had the protections of the Vienna Conventions. And that needs to pertain and needs to hold true and he needs to be released according to that," Carney reiterated in response to a question.