It depends upon the existence of conditions that an event of public significance can become the initial basis for national transformation. In the case of multiple petitions filed before the Lahore High Court against Davis claim to diplomatic immunity, the court was informed about his diplomatic status. The Deputy Attorney General stated that the accused came to Pakistan on an official business visa. The court was further informed that the visa was issued on the request made by the American authorities. And also that the accuseds record of diplomatic immunity was not available in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A lawyer for one of the petitioners submitted that the court should ascertain the fact that the accused entered Pakistan with a false identity, including name. This was after a delay of weeks that the court decided to transfer the issue to the lower trial court, only two days prior to the ending of the trial in the case. In this perspective, it is but logical that two issues emerge in view. One, an inadvertent delay by the court in the finalisation of the multiple writ petitions against the foreign diplomatic status of the accused Davis - a delay that, due to subsequent rapid unfolding of events in the case, made the issue of diplomatic immunity irrelevant. With the result, the society remained devoid of the benefit of institutional confirmation of the actual nature of the accuseds diplomatic status. This delay was in spite of the fact that the former Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, had previously - at least several weeks before - divulged it publicly that the accused did not enjoy diplomatic immunity. Two, the disquieting issue remains, which is not levelling the far more heinous allegation of anti-state activities vis--vis Pakistan against the accused. Because in its simultaneous presence, even the diyat issue would have acquired a subsidiary importance. A search for an element of face saving for Pakistan in the Davis case will discover one aspect. Non-acceptance by Pakistan of Washingtons overemphatic claim of diplomatic immunity for the accused is such a fact. The credit for this in no small measure is due to the former Foreign Minister, who unflinchingly stood his ground against the dual pressures brought upon him by the US and the government under President Asif Zardari. Rare is such an occasion in the history of this nation when a Foreign Minister had stood so staunchly for the national interest. His admirable stance though became the cause of his resignation, and even has become the source of visible conflict with his own political party. However, a grateful nation would do itself a rare great favour by abundantly awarding Qureshi with lasting gratitude and heroic admiration. The payment of diyat, or blood money, paved the way for the American nationals release from prison and out of the country. A set of relevant aspects that unavoidably entice the imagination toward themselves is to be the part of a meaningful discourse. i The actual amount of diyat paid is a matter of ambiguity. For some national dailies have reported the sum total in at least two contradictory amounts. A simple, straightforward legal matter is presented to the public at large in an unclear manner, allowing undesirable speculations. i The exact source that paid the diyat amount in Davis case has remained a matter of conjecture. Due to the inordinate interest demonstrated by President Barack Obama in the case, it was but a matter of understanding that the US government had paid the amount. On the contrary, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denied this early report. This issue offers itself to a simple inference that in the event the diyat amount was paid by the CIA, and not the US administration, which discloses Davis real background and nature of task he was engaged in Pakistan. It, therefore, arouses a good deal of curiosity, as the US Presidents early and earnest exhortations for the rapid release of the accused from custody under the benefit of his diplomatic immunity only serve to lend recognition to the rather extraordinarily sensitive nature of the mission Davis was engaged in Pakistan. Perhaps, from our standpoint, the most sought-after clues were the accuseds contacts with key figures here. i As a matter of common knowledge, the bereaved families of the two victims had made it widely known in advance that they desired justice, or qisas, and excluded any possibility of a settlement on the basis of diyat. An unpredictable reversal of their decision remains a matter of natural curiosity, in particular, in the presence of coexisting standards of honour. i The various newspaper reports disclosed the abrupt and swift engagement and transportation of the bereaved families to the location of incardination for the accused during the late hours of the night between March 15 and 16. And the legal matter was finalised in the court, held inside the jail, during the initial hours of the proceedings. The confinement of the two attorneys of the bereaved families inside the jail, appointment of a new lawyer with prejudiced background - that is, worked previously for the national secret agency - and subsequent residing of the families at unknown locations, envelope the affair of the settlement of Davis case into an enigma. And indeed much more so as the bereaved families were reported to have been coerced into the acceptance of the diyat amount and into granting the accused pardon. i According to the newspaper report, the crucial argument pressed into use to induce the bereaved families to record their acceptance of the terms of settlement in Davis case before the court was that the accused would be allowed to leave Pakistan soon, irrespective of the settlement. Therefore, the argument went, the families were better off to accept the diyat amount and pardon the accused. In this perspective, the delay in the adjudication of the issue of Davis diplomatic immunity, and subsequently transfer of the case into the lower trial court by the Lahore High Court - on March 14 - apparently would have been of an unwitting support for the noted argument. i Diyat is a recognised Islamic (Sharia) law that concerns the two parties - that is, the accused and the bereaved family. However, the Mozang tragedy had acquired the national scope, which means that it involved national interests and international prestige that excluded it from the area of mutual concern between two parties alone, due to substantial national considerations. If viewed from the standpoint of common consensus, or Ijma, the case could not be deemed as altogether independent of the requirements of this Islamic doctrine, having the status of a source of Islamic law. According to the eminent Muslim legist, Al-Shatibi, maslaha or common good is the purpose or end of law, or its illa. Translated into modern legal and juristic terms, this becomes the basic norm or grundnorm (so spelled), according to Hans Kelsen. The basic norm can be the validating norm for all other laws. Shatibi viewed maslaha (of the people) as the primary objective of the Lawgiver, and deemed the juristic principle to be a source of unity as well as identity of Islamic law. In the final analysis, in the Davis case, the law of diyat as the letter of law should have been balanced and harmonised with the demands of maslaha, as the basic norm and the spirit of Islamic law, which in the present instance was the due respect for the national will and honour. A demand for a high-powered investigation commission, to be appointed to earnestly evaluate the afore-stated issues in the Davis case, can become a source of national consensus. n The writer is the Chairman of the Pakistan Ideological Forum. E-mail: