Extradition pacts with Europe stalled by death penalty

Efforts to extradite Musharraf to Pakistan from UK hit roadblock due to possibility of death sentence.

Zahid Gishkori May 21, 2012


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.


Meheryar Shaikh | 10 years ago | Reply

@ 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.

hamza khan | 10 years ago | Reply

@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.

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read