Recommendations presented by a task force for Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s extradition from US have been sent to the prime minister’s office for final approval.
A high official at premier’s office told The Express Tribune on Friday that “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was eager to go through the recommendations to initiate the process for Aafia’s extradition,” adding that he will discuss the recommendations in a cabinet meeting for the final approval after he returns from Jeddah.
Sources privy to the matter confirmed that there was a possibility that the premier might hold a telephonic conversation with President Obama over the matter. Sources claimed that after the prime minister’s approval, a letter would be written to US requesting Aafia’s extradition before Eid.
An official at the foreign office said “this should not be taken as an easy procedure since we don’t have a bilateral treaty with US regarding prisoner exchange. However, entering into any of the two existing multilateral treaties would also take four to five months for the extradition”.
The official said once Nawaz Sharif approves the recommendations the foreign office will initiate the process of signing treaties with the US.
“But this doesn’t mean that Aafia’s extradition would then be at an arm’s length. We would then have to seek… only after the US gives its nod would we kick off the standard procedure,” he added.
The recommendations were forwarded to the PM after the interior ministry and foreign office gave clearance.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2013.