Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lahore Shooting Incident Is "A Time For Public Diplomacy"

H/T to John Brown's Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review for the following link about the (very) strange case of Raymond Davis:

Much is being made – maybe too much – about the Vienna Convention and its implications for diplomatic immunity. Familiar diplomatic games about the minutia of vocabulary are being played and will in most likelihood result in all too familiar results. That is exactly what one would expect in any such situation anywhere. But this is not ‘any‘ situation’; and this is not ‘anywhere‘. This is about US-Pakistan relations: there is just about nothing that the US can say or do which Pakistanis are likely to believe, and there is just about nothing that Pakistan can say or do which Americans are likely to trust. Which is why getting stuck in the intricacies of the Vienna Convention of 1963 is the exact wrong place to get stuck. This is a time for public diplomacy: certainly from the US and maybe even from Pakistan. It is not in America’s interest to be seen to be standing in the way of justice and due process. And it is not in Pakistan’s interest to be seen to conducting a flawed process of justice ... [Not handling this case with clarity and transparency] will probably bring with it more than just a little diplomatic embarrassment. Not doing so can only bring worse in the tinderbox that is US-Pakistan relations.

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