Buried in a lengthy dispatch regarding the case of Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor who stands accused of murder in Lahore, Pakistan, New York Times correspondent Jane Perlez reports:
The clampdown on American contractors by the Pakistani authorities appeared to be under way Friday with the arrest of an American citizen, Aaron Mark DeHaven, in the northwestern city of Peshawar.
The Peshawar police said Mr. DeHaven was detained because he had overstayed his business visa after his request for an extension last October was turned down.
There was no immediate accusation that Mr. DeHaven worked for the American government, a security official in Peshawar said. But the arrest of Mr. DeHaven, who is married to a Pakistani woman, appears to be a signal that the Pakistani authorities have decided to expel Americans they have doubts about.
The security official said Mr. DeHaven owned a firm, Catalyst Services in Peshawar, that rented houses for Americans in the city.
The American Embassy in Islamabad said in a statement that it did not have details about Mr. DeHaven but that it was arranging consular access for him through the Pakistani government.
The arrest of Mr. DeHaven is seen by some in the US intelligence community as the functional equivalent of a hostage taking. Negotiations over the fate of Mr. Davis have been going on at the highest levels of the civilian, intelligence and military wings of both the US and Pakistan governments. Players on both sides are trying to fashion a compromise that enables Mr. Davis’s release while allowing the Pakistani government to “save face” (and avert a popular rebellion over such an outcome).
The incarceration of Mr. DeHaven complicates these negotiations considerably. If more US “contractors” in Pakistan are arrested, negotiations over the fate of Mr. Davis will grow that much more complicated. Mr. Davis’s trial on “murder” charges reconvenes on Thursday, 3 March.
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