A number of US consular employees were detained today in the northern Pakistani city of Peshawar, after they refused to allow police to search their vehicle at a checkpoint, and the police, who searched the car anyhow, found a collection of illegal arms inside.
The US consul general insists that the employees, who were quickly released after the US warned them against detentions, were returning from an “education event for underprivileged children.” They made no attempt to explain the weapons.
The incident brings back memories of last year’s Raymond Davis incident, in which the man officially licensed as a “consular employee” killed two Pakistanis in Lahore. Davis was eventually revealed to be a top CIA official operating secretly under the guise of a diplomat, though US officials still demanded he be released under his diplomatic immunity as a consular employee.
This is certain to add to the already tense US-Pakistan relationship, and will probably keep Pakistanis regarding US diplomats with suspicion. Pakistani law makes it clear that diplomats are not allowed to carry weapons.