Islamabad, May 19 (Reuters): A Pakistani court today dropped a case against a US law enforcement agent charged with weapons offenses for trying to board a flight while carrying bullets and a knife in his luggage.
The incident revived memories of Pakistan’s 2011 arrest of a CIA contractor, who shot dead two men he thought were trying to rob him, souring US-Pakistani ties at a time when the two nations were already deeply suspicious of each other.
Both nations officially cooperate to fight Islamist militants but frequently trade public accusations.
In the current case, Pakistani authorities arrested Joel Cox, an FBI agent, at the airport in the southern city of Karachi on May 4 after he tried to board a civilian flight with the knife and 15 9-mm bullets, police said. He spent three nights in jail before being freed on a $10,000 bond.
Today, police said they asked for the case to be cancelled. “Since he was not carrying a weapon, only bullets were found from his luggage, the investigation report recommended the cancellation of the case,” Inspector Khalid Mehmood told Reuters.
In the 2011 shooting, the detained contractor, Raymond Davis, was eventually freed after the payment of “blood money” to the families of the two men, a practice allowed by Pakistani law.
Four bullet-riddled bodies of members of a peace committee formed by the government to deal with rebels have been found in Pakistan’s restive tribal region.
The victims had bullet wounds and were dumped in Mohmand tribal area where Taliban forces are active and frequently target security forces and civilians.
“A severely injured man was also found with the victims and has been shifted to a medical facility in Peshawar, the provincial capital,” an official said.