Extradition pacts with Europe stalled by death penalty

Published: May 21, 2012

Efforts to extradite Musharraf to Pakistan from UK hit roadblock due to possibility of death sentence. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

With a continuing deadlock over Pakistan’s efforts to extradite former president Pervez Musharraf from the UK, Islamabad is expediting efforts to conclude extradition treaties with European countries at the earliest, according to the Foreign Office.

The move came a month after attempts to have Musharraf extradited to Pakistan hit a roadblock, as the possibility of capital punishment impedes the formulation of an agreement between the two countries. Musharraf is wanted by an anti-terrorism court in former premier Benazir Bhutto’s assassination case.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the foreign ministry revealed on April 22 that an extradition treaty between Pakistan and the UK “remains ambivalent” because the joint judicial team assigned to finalise the accord differed over the likelihood of the ‘death sentence’.

“Efforts to conclude extradition treaties with various countries are going on,” said Foreign Office spokesperson Moazam Ali Khan. The foreign affairs ministry’s various desks, namely, Europe, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Middle East, North America and Central Asia are working on such efforts. “Particularly, our focus is on Europe…to expedite the efforts for concluding extradition treaties,” Khan told The Express Tribune.

At present, Pakistan has extradition treaties with 27 countries. They are the US, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Liberia, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Maldives, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Yugoslavia.

Officials of the interior and foreign affairs ministries say that Islamabad wants to sign extradition treaties with European countries under the Pakistan Extradition Act, 1972. The legal teams of both ministries after detailed interaction with officials of various countries, namely the UK, France, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland and Italy will likely make headway in the near future in this regard, they added.

Capital punishment is the main hurdle in concluding the extradition treaties, said the foreign office legal director Sher Bahadur Khan.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik has also been engaged in efforts to sign extradition treaties with various countries, particularly the UK, to bring home various absconding Pakistanis wanted by courts and law enforcement agencies particularly former president Musharraf. Help has been sought from Interpol in this regard as well.

Islamabad’s British High Commission Press Attaché Mike Girling said the British government did not comment on the ongoing discussion on the extradition treaty between the two countries.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2012.

Reader Comments (33)

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    May 21, 2012 - 9:43AM

    Four years have already been passed of the present government and another year will go in vain tp extradition Musharraf.from UK.

    The next government who so ever will come will also demand the same from British Government.

    It is better for Musharraf to leave the politics and submit an application of asylum, which will not allow him to go out of Great Britain for 10 years in continuity and then he will be become British Citizen.

    Musharraf has no choice. He cannot come to Pakistan due to the fear of arrest and prosecution and if found guilty by the court he may be sent to gallows.

    Musharraf has to choose one between the two: (1) Life or (2) Death.

    Recommend

  • Concerned
    May 21, 2012 - 9:54AM

    GOP should get the former dictator back to Pakistan for trial after issuing a guarantee to the UK govt that it will not pass a death sentence on him. However, a twenty years rigorous imprisonment sentence would be good enough if found guilty by the courts.

    Recommend

  • Ali
    May 21, 2012 - 10:03AM

    Musharraf was the best leader this country ever had!
    Observing what Pakistanis could do to a great leader like Musharraf only make me think that they deserve Zardari and his atrocities!

    Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    May 21, 2012 - 10:16AM

    Capital punishment is the law in Pakistan. If was also the law in UK once and still is in the US. Pakistan is asking for extradition of Pakistanis who fled, not citizens of UK. If UK does not return Musharraf then Pakistan should stop extradition of criminals claimed by UK and EU. Funny when you know that European countries were involved in rendition and thousands of Muslims were tortured in their prisons, they become holier than thou when it comes to the death sentence. Absolute hypocrisy.

    Recommend

  • Truthbetold
    May 21, 2012 - 10:20AM

    What is the big deal here? Just sign a paper with the UK and Europe promising that death penalty will not be imposed on Mush. Then try him in Pakistan and convict him for life. After two years in jail he will have a “serious fatal heart problem” and that will be the end of the story.

    Recommend

  • Majid
    May 21, 2012 - 10:25AM

    V. nice. I hope he will be hanged on the Constitution Avenue Islamabad in front of parliament to set an example.

    Recommend

  • RizwanTKhan
    May 21, 2012 - 10:29AM

    Under what law UK is holding Musharaf back? He is not British national. Pakistan should take UK to International court for holding our national unjustly. Even if Musharraf is to get death penalty it would be according to law , through courts.

    Recommend

  • A J Khan
    May 21, 2012 - 10:40AM

    Musharraf if extradited is not likely to get fair trial due to his personal tribulations with the judiciary. This will tarnish the image of courts.

    Recommend

  • justice to be done
    May 21, 2012 - 10:52AM

    we miss his time – probably the best period many of us have seen in many, if not all, ways!

    Recommend

  • Mard-e-Haq
    May 21, 2012 - 11:05AM

    So, the West is protecting Musharraf? How does Musharraf get to stay in Western hotels and bog houses anyway? Is he still getting his army/presidential pensions. Many questions.

    Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    May 21, 2012 - 11:15AM

    If death penalty applies to any of the charges that Mushraf is to face and we declare that death penalty will not be handed out, then to my mind this is will be a great miscarriage of justice. Setting pretence before even the charges are framed is no justice (although I don’t believe he should ever get one, ‘democracy’ to me has caused greater damage)

    So that wouldn’t work. Having said that, all of you who suggest as such know better where the credibility of our government lies with the International word. Even I don’t believe a word they say anymore.

    Recommend

  • Lone Star
    May 21, 2012 - 11:15AM

    I’m afraid Gen. Musharaf won’t be welcome in Pakistan right now. Mr. CJ has been quite aggressive lately, Nawaz Shareef is on the loose and Laal Masjid and Laal topi walas are also gaining momentum. So in this situation no reasonable person wants to come to IRP.
    Cheers!

    Recommend

  • Imran
    May 21, 2012 - 11:32AM

    What a pity. Musharraf must me astonished that this is what he is getting after being the best president Pakistan ever had.

    Recommend

  • Ali
    May 21, 2012 - 11:42AM

    Pakistanis deserve people like Zardari and Nawaz Sharif to rule them. People like Musharraf shouldn’t care about Pakistan when Pakistan doesn’t care about them. Long live Musharraf!

    Recommend

  • Sexton Blake
    May 21, 2012 - 12:01PM

    @Billoo Bhaya:
    I quite agree with Billoo Bhaya. The U.K./Europe do not appear to have any problems extraditing people to America which imposes the death penalty at a great frequency than Pakistan. It is called double standards. Also, the Americans have more people in prison, per head of population, than any other country. Can the average American be this bad?

    Recommend

  • Mullah Ka Bacha
    May 21, 2012 - 12:21PM

    Why don’t the Pakistanis put this much effort into catching known terrorists? – Pathetic that a former head of state has to go through this

    Recommend

  • Subah
    May 21, 2012 - 12:45PM

    Of the previous political rulers, Musharaf seems to be the lesser evil.

    Recommend

  • Elhaan Khan
    May 21, 2012 - 12:49PM

    @Justice To Be Done: What so best about Musharraf’s time? For allowing Call Centers In Big Cities which is nothing more than s scam? To allow Taliban reach every corner of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Tribal Area to blackmail the West? To let Osama Bin Laden stay here for 6 years? Every military’s rule in Pakistan leaves something nasty behind for democratic government be eradicated in ages . Ayub Khan’s one way industrialization and de-politicization of society paid the way for separation of East Pakistan. Zia killed the innocence of this nation thorough Privatization of Jihad . Musharraf set Balochistan on fire by killing Bugti and transported Talibanization from Afghanistan into Pakistan. Yes, he was popular in urban parts of the country as all his so-called moderation was meant for them but we poor Pakhtuns were forced to face the worth of his duplicity in War on Terror.

    Recommend

  • Fez
    May 21, 2012 - 12:50PM

    They want the ‘death penalty’ for the one good and strong leader we have had in recent years while convicted criminals are holed up in the President house and Prime Minister house. What is wrong with out society…

    Recommend

  • Noushad khan
    May 21, 2012 - 1:04PM

    Don’t call it Pakistan’s effort……. Pakistan love Musharaf …….!Recommend

  • Protector Of Pakistan
    May 21, 2012 - 1:12PM

    Shame on Pakistani nation. A person who lead Pakistan with immense progress in every sector who provider thousands of jobs, who lifted up industry which was ZERO before him, who went to get kashmir back of indian hands and always had an aggressive attitude to enemies who told the world importance of Pakistan in region…. is now being taregeted like this. Shame on You people.

    Recommend

  • True Muslim Paki
    May 21, 2012 - 1:25PM

    Our Courageous Generals.. Huh!

    & We expect these Generals to win Wars, when they are not even courageous enough to face the countrys own judiciary. All they are capable of is to carry out mass massacres women & children like that of Lal Masjid & enforced disappearances of innocent people. They run away to other countries with the booty looted and live in comfort there. This is the reason why they lost every war that they fought. They can be hired by any country for $$`s to fight someone else war (WoT).

    Recommend

  • Faysal
    May 21, 2012 - 1:41PM

    It is astonishing to see many people showing favour to Musharif. People! he remained in absolute power for nine years, and he failed to address the fundamental problems being faced by the people like curruption, injustice and inflation etc. He was here only to implement US strategy, which he did on the basis of US money. Pakistan remained afloat on the hefty money passed on by the US, which now has stopped. Same was the case during the days of Zia.

    Recommend

  • elcay
    May 21, 2012 - 2:36PM

    First of all INTERPOL has not yet issued a red corner warrant for the arrest of Mus. Get that first then think of treaty. And even if the treaty is there, it most unlikely that British Court will allow extradition under some reasons.

    Recommend

  • Malatesh
    May 21, 2012 - 3:16PM

    @Protector Of Pakistan

    ……who went to get kashmir back of
    indian hands and always had an
    aggressive attitude to enemies who
    told the world importance of Pakistan
    in region

    Did you get anything out of his Kargil adventure and killing your own political leaders?

    Recommend

  • Taoo
    May 21, 2012 - 4:32PM

    Living has always been better when army men have administered the country, clowns of democracy have always made it difficult.

    Recommend

  • Ashraf
    May 21, 2012 - 5:43PM

    Dear Sir Musharaf – we love you, we miss your prosperous era. We are now in hands of looters and sugar mfia. Both PPP and PMLN have put us 100 years back.

    Recommend

  • Cautious
    May 21, 2012 - 6:10PM

    The article says you have an extradition treaty with the USA — if so then have the USA send him back to Pakistan — Musharraf makes regular speaking tours throughout the USA so it should be easy for them to arrest him. Either Zardari doesn’t care about bringing the alleged killer of his wife to justice or perhaps he is afraid of the consequences of alienating the military establishment?

    Recommend

  • zeeshan
    May 21, 2012 - 6:50PM

    No one has as power to hang the Musharaf even arrest and no one want to penalize him they are doing just drama in front of people and making them fool. why could not Banazir killer arrest yet nevertheless her party in regime and have all resources. Mushraf handed over his presidency on the insurance of abroad forces, how can any slave do any thing without his master willing. All parties are slave of abroad countries and they do job as their masters order them. It just drama democracy, vote, people desire, public representative all these things to make blind to public. People should think about and stand up for their rights.

    Recommend

  • Sexton Blake
    May 21, 2012 - 8:09PM

    I have no argument in bringing law breakers to justice, but I can see some problems extraditing former President Pervez Musharraf. Like most other people I am not sure whether the accusations against Mr. Musharraf will stand up in a court of law. However, being a confirmed factual theorist myself it does sound as if Mr. Musharraf has some type of case to answer without any suggestion at this point of time that he is guilty. The main problem I see is that various countries are loath to bring ex-leaders to book unless they have a hidden agenda such as Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi who were sitting on billions of barrels of oil. I think Western leader reasoning is that most world leaders have committed serious breaches of international law themselves, and extradition may well be used against them (I wish) as well. Some readers have criticized President Zadari for not becoming more involved. Once again, I think the President has to be careful for several reasons. He could be accused of using his public office incorrectly, presidential powers are not what they used to be, and he could be a future political target, particularly when he goes back to civilian life.

    Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    May 21, 2012 - 9:05PM

    What an irony! The man who served Pakistan so ably and so sincerely and so successfully has been abandoned by Pakistanis, what shame. This is what we do to honest and sincere and devoted and selfless sons of Pakistan—we insult them and we chase them we haunt them and the world must come forward and provide protection because our President Pervez Musharraf did no wrong and if he did then the whole gang is guilty of the same crime, the whole gang irrespective of where sit—be it our parliament, or the judiciary or government or the GHQ and even the PTI—first get them all, only then look at this great man with any evil eyes and malicious thoughts.

    Recommend

  • hamza khan
    May 21, 2012 - 10:48PM

    @Uza Syed:

    kudos! i applaud your sincerity and honesty. if only more pakistanis thought like you and the rest of the people who can separate truth from false, lies from reality. unfortunately pakistan has been made victim of an incompetent government. president musharraf made his mistakes, but in the bookshelf of politicians in pakistan, president musharraf is an enjoyable thriller, if not a classic. the man did his job well, and left pakistan in a much better state than what he got it in.

    Recommend

  • Meheryar Shaikh
    May 22, 2012 - 8:39AM

    @ Billoo Bhaya: Are you even aware of any cases concerning your ridiculous claim? Why don’t you look up several extradition cases from the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights wherein European governments have been prevented from deporting or extraditing individuals (a lot of Muslim individuals included) to countries where they face the risk of death or torture? Just look at the recent Abu Qatada case in Britain as an example, or the landmark case of Chahal v. UK or perhaps Soering v. UK wherein an individual was not allowed to be extradited to the US because of the ‘torture’ from death row phenomenon he would face. For remarkable judicial activism by the European Court, look at Saadi v. UK wherein the British government was found guilty of failing to investigate the death of an individual in British custody in Iraq of all places. The law is crystal clear: Article 2 and 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights have been interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights to restrict extradition of an individual to a nation where they may face death or torture respectively. Regardless, you should acquaint yourself with a modicum of knowledge about the relevant laws and facts before making such remarks.

    Recommend

More in World