PPP upset over Qureshis remarks on Davis case

Islamabad: Pakistan`s ruling PPP is upset by former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi`s stance that US official Raymond Davis could not be given diplomatic immunity, with a federal minister saying that such remarks will "create a bad environment in the country".

"Shah Mehmood had not shown his concerns when he was Foreign Minister and now these remarks about Davis are not in favour of the country," Information and Broadcasting Minister Firdous Aashiq Awan told a TV news channel.

She said Qureshi`s statements about US national Davis` immunity will "create a bad environment in the country".

She said the Davis case is already in the court and the government will accept the verdict given by the court.

The government will pursue the matter in court and not go by the remarks of any individual, she said.

Besides, such issues can be debated in the PPP`s meetings and not in the media, said Awan, who was given the information portfolio after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani decided to downsize his cabinet last week.

Qureshi skipped the swearing-in ceremony for the new cabinet on Friday after he learnt that the Pakistan People`s Party leadership had decided not to reallocate the foreign affairs portfolio to him.

He was quoted by The News daily today as saying that, according to official records and experts in the Foreign Office, Davis is "not a diplomat and cannot be given blanket diplomatic immunity".

Davis was arrested in Lahore on January 27 after he shot and killed two men who he claimed were trying to rob him.

Reports have suggested that the PPP decided to remove Qureshi from the foreign ministry because of his decision not to back the party`s top leadership`s move to grant diplomatic immunity to Davis.