Pak court seeks whereabouts of kin of two men killed by Davis

Lahore: A Pakistani court has directed authorities to file a report by March 28 on the whereabouts of the families of two men gunned down by suspected CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who was freed from detention last week under a "blood money" deal of over USD two million.

Justice Chaudhry Iftikhar Hussain of the Lahore High Court asked the Home Secretary of Punjab province to file the report on the families of Faizan Haider and Muhammad Faheem, the two men killed by Davis here on January 27.

The judge passed the order yesterday in response to a habeas corpus petition filed by lawyer Malik Munsif Awan, who claimed that the families disappeared after they accepted "blood money" under a deal allowed by Islamic laws.

Earlier, Lahore police chief Aslam Tareen informed the court that police officials visited the homes of the two slain men but found they were locked. The neighbours too had no information on the whereabouts of the families, he said.

Assistant Advocate General Wali Khan of Punjab province told the judge that the families were free to go anywhere after receiving the `diyat` or blood money.

However, Awan expressed dissatisfaction with the police chief`s reply and said police could not be absolved of its responsibilities as the two families had apparently disappeared.

He claimed both families had a large amount of money and this could be a threat to their lives.

After hearing these arguments, the judge said the police chief`s reply was incomplete and sought a report from the Home Secretary.

Awan, who was earlier the counsel for the two families, further claimed that somebody may have kidnapped them and kept them in illegal detention.

He claimed there were apprehensions that the families were forced to accept blood money for the release of Davis.

A lower court in Lahore pardoned and freed Davis, a 36-year-old former Special Forces soldier, after over USD two million was paid to the families of the two dead men as blood money.

Davis left Pakistan within hours of being freed and the two families did not return to their homes following the hearing in court.

Media reports have said the two families have gone away to either the United Arab Emirates or the US. The reports also said they had been issued US visas.