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Do not allow Davis case to affect US-Pak ties: Advocacy group

A US-based Pakistani advocacy group has asked lawmakers and officials of the Obama administration not to let the case of an American arrested in Lahore for double murder affect the crucial bilateral ties.

world Updated: Feb 19, 2011 13:53 IST

A US-based Pakistani advocacy group has asked lawmakers and officials of the Obama administration not to let the case of an American arrested in Lahore for double murder affect the crucial bilateral ties.

In a statement, the Council on Pakistan Relations (CPR) commended Republican and Democratic leaders for their support to Pakistan in the midst of the controversy surrounding Raymond Davis, an American official arrested in Lahore on January 27 after he shot and killed to men he claimed were trying to rob him.

"I am highly encouraged that Congressional leaders are keeping a cool head in this heated moment," CPR Chairman Ashraf Qazi said.

The Davis situation is "very unfortunate" but the relationship between the US and Pakistan "is too broad and deep to allow this incident to harm this crucial alliance," he said.

On Thursday, Lindsay Graham, the top Republican on the Senate subcommittee overseeing aid to Pakistan, opposed rollback of foreign aid, and said "our relationship's got to be bigger than this," referring to suggestions that the US cut aid to Pakistan in protest of the Davis situation.

Republican Representative Kay Granger said: "I am convinced it is counter-productive to use US aid as leverage and I believe it would hurt rather than help the situation to withhold funds."

Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who just returned from Pakistan, in part, hoped to help resolve the issue, the CPR said.

"We are hopeful that our two countries will resolve this issue through diplomacy. But we cannot lose focus on the economic needs of the country that is stretched for resources," Qazi said.

"Pakistan is a country in deep distress and has suffered much while being an important ally with the US in the war on terror and we must take an effective approach to demonstrate US' long term-commitment to Pakistan," he said.

The Council on Pakistan Relations is a pro-America, pro-Pakistan, not-for-profit, independent, advocacy organisation.