Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf has approached Interpol to seek dismissal of a request from the Pakistan government for issuance of his red warrant in Benazir Bhutto’s assassination case.
The former army chief sought the international police’s help following a third request from Pakistan to the Interpol headquarters last week, seeking a red warrant for him.
“Musharraf has sought Interpol’s assistance under Article 3 of Interpol’s Constitution, which enshrines the guiding principle of neutrality by explicitly forbidding Interpol from engaging in matters of political, military, religious and racial character,” a senior official associated with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) told The Express Tribune on Sunday.
The official, who is dealing with Benazir Bhutto’s assassination case, revealed that Musharraf has requested Interpol to treat his case as a matter of “political and military character”.
“Interpol may reject Pakistan’s request as neutrality has always been paramount to Interpol whose activities transcend international politics,” he quoted a friend of Musharraf as saying.
The former military ruler sent this letter to the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files (CCF) earlier this month.
The CCF which operates in line with a number of official rules and documents sought more evidence and is monitoring Pakistan’s request.
In response to a question, the official claimed that the Interpol headquarters never rejected Pakistan’s request as reported by the media. “Interpol did not reject our request. It only asked for more documents,” he said, adding that this time they sent more documentary proof to the CCF to ensure Musharraf’s arrest.
Interpol reportedly informed the FIA that it could not issue a red warrant for Musharraf due to insufficient evidence and documentation presented to the CCF.
Consequently, FIA’s prosecutor in Benazir’s murder case Azhar Chaudhry told The Express Tribune that the FIA has again sent additional investigation reports and copies of statements by the then director general of the Intelligence Bureau Ejaz Shah and director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence’s (ISI) counter-intelligence wing Javed Iqbal Cheema. Copies of Rawalpindi ATC’s order and US-based journalist Marc Siegel’s email to Benazir Bhutto were also sent to the CCF. “The CCF is the final authority to decide Musharraf’s fate,” Chaudhry said.
Pakistan also sought the United Kingdom’s assistance in this case but the British government rejected the appeal on the grounds that the two countries have no formal extradition treaty.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2012.