A technical advisor for the US Consulate in the Pakistani city of Lahore, dubbed “American Rambo” in one Pakistani newspaper, is facing two murder charges related to the killing of three people in the city this afternoon.
The exact details of the incident are still unclear, but the advisor, identified as Raymond Davis, shot and killed two Pakistani motorcyclists he claimed were trying to rob him, then called for help from the consulate. The consulate deployed a vehicle which ran over and killed another cyclist en route.
Police confirmed that Davis claimed he was being robbed, but appeared to dismiss the notion, saying that neither of the two people he shot had any criminal records. Relatives described both as upstanding individuals.
The real concern for the US State Department however is the likely anti-American backlash that will result, and officials say that they are going to work hard to ensure that the backlash “does not affect the strategic partnership.”
Pakistan’s Zardari government will likely shrug off the killings, but with the public already frazzled by the hundreds of civilians the US kills annually in drone strikes in the tribal areas, having random consular officials mowing down residents, whatever the justification, is unlikely to sit well.