Federal govt to determine diplomatic immunity: Shahbaz

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said on Monday that the federal government could ascertain the grant of diplomatic immunity to Raymond Davis, the US citizen accused of gunning down two Pakistanis in Lahore on Thursday.

“The matter is to be decided by the Foreign office in Islamabad while the provincial government is responsible for the investigations as per law of the land”, he said while talking to the media alongside Punjab Governor Latif Khosa here at the Governor’s House.

To a query, Shahbaz said that all decisions regarding the US national would be taken in the light of the law and the constitution of Pakistan, adding that no compromise would be made on the legal or investigation matters.

Answering a question, the CM said that the Punjab government had asked the US Consulate General in Lahore to hand over the vehicle as well as the driver involved in running over a Pakistani national during a speed spree to rescue Raymond Davis.

“I cannot comment on the judicial issues since the matter is sub-judice but what I can assure is that principles of justice will be fulfilled”, he responded.

Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif called on Punjab Governor Latif Khosa and discussed various matters regarding the smooth functioning of the province.

The meeting also fulfilled the constitutional obligation which required an elected chief executive of the province to call on the governor, constitutional head of the province after taking oath of the office.

Punjab Chief Minister resolved to bridge the communication gap which had existed between the chief executive of the province and Punjab Governor during the past three years.

Shahbaz said that he had taken Khosa into confidence on all matters, adding that both agreed to run the affairs of the province through mutual cooperation and consultation in the larger interest of the people.

The Chief Minister said that he would seek guidance from the Punjab Governor on all legal matters in the province.

Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Governor assured the Chief Minister of “complete cooperation” of the federal government to the Punjab government, adding that he had instruction from the President Asif Ali Zardari and the Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani to take the Punjab government along for the progress and prosperity in the province.

Khosa said that he would work in close liaison with Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and extend optimum support in serving the people of Punjab.

Punjab Governor said that he had invited the Chief Minister and his cabinet to dinner so that they could discuss all matters at length, adding that Shahbaz Sharif had accepted his invitation.