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Pak increasingly sceptical of US

world Updated: Feb 24, 2011 02:10 IST

Raymond Davis, the American CIA contractor jailed in the fatal shooting of two Pakistani men last month, has quickly assumed the role of Pakistan’s public enemy No. 1. But not far behind him are those who have come to be known as “Raymond Davises.”

Davis’s name has become a byword for a presumed army of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of shadowy American operatives stalking Pakistani streets. So important is his silence to protecting their mission, according to some Pakistani media reports, that the US might spring him from prison in an action-movie-style rescue operation — or have its agents poison him.

Officials and analysts said the speculation about multitudes of American gunslingers also reflects widespread hostility toward the US presence could represent a particularly ominous turn for US’ rapidly expanding mission in Pakistan.

The growing belief that many Americans work as sinister agents could imperil other programs or endanger those carrying them out, US and Pakistani officials said. But as outrage over the Davis shooting mounts, suggestions that all US personnel are spies are feeding popular suspicion about the battery of American programs here and renewing reservations about the US presence in general.

“They may be justifying their work as for an NGO or other US agency, but the prime purpose of their stay in the city is to spy,” Fakhr-e-Alam Khan, a leader of a religious party, said.

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