Raymond Davis: The great escape!
CIA operative Raymond Davis was first indicted, then released (the very same day) in a double murder case in Lahore
Raymond Davis thought he could gun down 2 'bad guys' in the streets of Pakistan and pull a true Bond-styled getaway. After nearly seven weeks, he actually did.
Wednesday, 1pm Pakistan Standard Time (PST)

CIA operative Raymond Davis is indicted by a sessions court in Lahore. Davis was accused in a double murder case where he shot dead two Pakistanis (allegedly ISI operatives) in Lahore on January 27 following what he described as an attempted armed robbery.
Wednesday, 5pm PST

Raymond Davis is set free. Lahore's Provincial law minister confirms the news that the court set Davis free. 'Blood money' (Diyat) was paid in accordance with sharia law.
1pm: Indicted. 5pm: Freed. What happened during those 4 hours?
Here are the twists and turns.
Raymond Davis: The great escape!
The families' lawyers now allege they were forced to accept blood money.In this photo taken on March 14, Mohammad Wasim (C), the brother of Mohammad Fahim, one of the victims shot dead by Raymond Davis, leaves with lawyers outside the High court building after a hearing in Lahore.
Twist 1: 'Forced at gunpoint'
Geo News reports that 'the counsel of the bereaved families, Manzoor Butt alleged that the families of Faizan and Fahim were forcibly brought from their homes to the court.'
The news station claims that 'The lawyers were also warned against uttering a word before the media'.
Blood money, or 'Diyat' is a provision under Islamic sharia law in which compensation can be paid to relatives of those killed to secure a pardon, and is commonly used to resolve such cases in Pakistan.
Conflicting versions appear concerning how much was paid. Sources on various TV channels aired figures ranging from Rs. 60 million to Rs. 200 million (about $700,000 to $2,350,000).
In addition, on Wednesday, Pakistani media also aired that 18 members of both families had announced in front of the judge in Kot Lakhpat jail that they had forgiven Raymond Davis and then accepted the cash rightaway.
Raymond Davis: The great escape!
Latest reports suggest the release of Raymond Davis was arranged in less than 48 hours and was a result of collaboration between the Punjab government and intelligence agencies
Twist 2: 'We did not pay the money'
Forcing the families to accept the money at gunpoint may have been shocking enough. But wait, there's more.
The US government has flatly denied it paid any compensation.
When asked, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters in Cairo, "The United States did not pay any compensation or blood money. You will have to ask the families." Asked if the Pakistani government had paid compensation, she said: "You will have to ask the Pakistani government."
In other words, it's for me to know and you to find out.
Twist 3: Blood money paid by Saudi Arabia?
So it wasn't the US. It wasn't the Punjab government. And of course, it wasn't Raymond Davis.
News reports now suggest it could be Saudi Arabia that shelled out the moolah. Quoting diplomatic sources, Dawn reported late Thursday that the 'Saudis arranged the blood money that allowed CIA contractor Raymond Davis to go home'.
The Arab nation ventured the money 'at least for now' to prevent 'irreparable damage' to US-Pak relations.
Raymond Davis: The great escape!
Protests by religious parties, political opposition and students raged across Pakistan after Davis' release
Final Score: ISI:1 CIA:0 Pak Govt:0
There has been no public comment from the government which has declared 'high alert' for the whole week. In fact, the fear of a backlash was so intense that the Foreign Office cancelled its weekly media briefing, usually held every Thursday.
Pockets of the nation remain outraged, the protests continue. Various religious and political parties are up in arms. The anti-US rage now translating into anger against the Zardari government which will find it increasingly hard to justify Davis' release.
The Pakistani president is expected to address parliament next week. Hopefully, he will offer an interesting explanation to the fiasco.
Administrative woes aside, what has indeed changed now is the ISI-CIA equation. And the unlikely winner of this Raymon Davis round: The ISI.
With Davis' fiasco, the Pak intelligence agency has one upped the CIA and consolidated its turf- resetting rules of the game, rules that were earlier bypassed. They made the CIA sweat a little, bargain hard and dole out the goodies.
But ISI-CIA aside, at the end of the seven week-long saga, there emerged two men satisfied.
With Davis' freedom, president Zardari earned back his meal-ticket to the US. Zardari was scheduled to visit early this month but the public spat put relations in jeopardy. Now, he is definitely a happier man.

And Davis? Well, just like James Bond, no one (except 'M' maybe) knows where he is.
Source: India Syndicate