US denies handing down threat to Pak Ambassador

Islamabad: The US on Friday denied as "simply inaccurate" an American media report that the Obama administration had threatened to evict Pakistan`s Ambassador in Washington and call off President Asif Ali Zardari`s upcoming visit if a US official arrested for murder is not released.

"ABC News carried a story regarding a conversation in Washington between senior US and Pakistani officials. Although we are unable to discuss the substance of a private diplomatic meeting, US Embassy Islamabad can state categorically that the description of the conversation in this report is simply inaccurate," said a brief statement issued by the US Embassy`s spokesperson.

The report by ABC News had said that National Security Advisor Tom Donilon told Pakistani Ambassador Hussain Haqqani on Monday that the US administration will "kick Haqqani out of the US", close US consulates in Pakistan and cancel an upcoming visit by President Zardari to Washington if US official Raymond Davis is not released from custody by Friday.

Haqqani too had denied the development via Twitter.

Davis, 36, was today sent to jail for 14 days by a court in Lahore even as city police chief Aslam Tareen said he had been charged with murder as there was no proof to back his claim that he had acted in self-defence when he shot and killed the two men on January 27.

Davis has claimed that he opened fire after the two armed men followed his car and tried to rob him.

Pakistani leaders have rebuffed US demands for Davis` release on the grounds that he enjoys diplomatic immunity.

The stand-off between Washington and Islamabad over Davis has taken the tense relationship between the two countries to a new low.