Friday, January 28, 2011

U.S. official in Pakistan to face murder charges -

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan will pursue murder charges against a U.S. consular employee suspected in the shooting deaths of two armed men possibly intent on robbing him, a top prosecutor said Friday.

"The weak government, already frequently criticized for being subservient to the United States, will likely come under domestic pressure to be tough on the American. There were several small protests around the country after midday prayers, calling for the American to be punished.

Many Pakistanis regard the U.S. with suspicion or enmity because of its occupation of neighboring Afghanistan and regular missile attacks against militant targets in Pakistan's northwest. The government condemns those attacks, but is widely believed to agree to them privately, further angering its critics.

In a sign of the political sensitivities of the case, Interior Minister Rehman Malik was asked by a lawmaker in parliament whether he was trying to set the American free. 'I will never abet a criminal,' replied Malik.

A third Pakistani was killed in the incident Thursday in the bustling city of Lahore after being hit by a U.S. vehicle rushing to aid the American, who also in a car, according to police, who have said the driver could also face charges.

U.S. official in Pakistan to face murder charges -

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