Islamabad (Agencies): Pakistan may be approching an arrangement to repatriate US official Raymond Davis, after weeks of tense standoff between the two countries. 

The government's counsel is expected to testify on Davis's diplomatic status when the Lahore High Court reconvenes on Thursday.

The government's stand was finalised at a high-level meeting convened to devise a strategy on the Davis case. The move was initiated in view of the visit of US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry who is in Pakistan as a special envoy of the Obama administration.

"The Lahore High Court will be informed that the US Embassy's notification of January 20 in respect of Raymond Davis, intimating his appointment as a member of the administrative and technical staff, made him eligible for immunity under the Vienna Convention," an  unnamed official was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.

Speculation that the US and Pakistan may be close to an arrangement on Davis gained ground after Senator Kerry announced at a news conference in Lahore late last night that the US Department of Justice will conduct a criminal investigation into the incident in which Davis shot and killed two men despite his diplomatic immunity.

"Our Department of Justice will conduct its own thorough criminal investigation regardless of the immunity. We still believe the immunity applies but that doesn't mean we don’t have the right under our law or the capacity to go through our own process," Kerry said.

The government is also expected to inform the High Court that Pakistan's laws and the Foreign Ministry's regulations required Davis to be registered with authorities as a diplomat, but this could not be done because of certain unresolved queries, the official told the Dawn.

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Ijaz Chaudhry had observed on February 1 that the court will decide "whether (Davis) has or does not have immunity".

Subsequently, the Foreign Ministry was asked to prepare a reply to the High Court's query on Davis' diplomatic status.

Relations between the two countries plunged to a new low after Pakistani leaders rebuffed repeated US demands for Davis to be freed following his arrest in Lahore on January 27.

Davis shot and killed two men he claimed were trying to rob him.

A chargesheet filed by police in court on Tuesday rejected his claim of self-defence and accused him of murder.

The US has suspended high-level contacts with Pakistan because of the spat and threatened to cut off aid worth billions of dollars that is crucial for Islamabad’s economy.

US President Barack Obama too urged the Pakistan government to release Davis during a news conference on Tuesday.