Pakistan-Britain extradition treaty in the offing

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Staff Reporter

Pakistan and Britain have agreed to complete the extradition treaty between the two countries at the earliest, a bad news for those Pakistani politicians and businesspersons who are staying in the United Kingdom and facing lawsuits in the home country.
The understanding to this effect came during the meeting of Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad and British High Commissioner Christian Turner on Tuesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad stressed on taking measures to ensure that the criminals do not find refuge anywhere. He said that Britain’s positive security advice about Pakistan has improved its image globally.

On this occasion, the British high commissioner expressed satisfaction over Pakistan’s arrangements to fight Covid-19 pandemic. He underlined the importance of enhancing trade between the two countries. He said that restoration of British and Virgin Airlines will help promote trade and tourism between the two countries.

Earlier in January, the British government said that it cannot take action against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on the basis of the non-bailable arrest warrants served by Pakistan High Commission in London. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s Pakistan and Afghan Department said in response to a letter sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson by Labour MP Stephen Timms, on behalf of a Pakistani constituent.
In a letter, the FCO’s Pakistan section said: “We are aware that Mr Sharif is in the UK. The UK law sets out clearly and publicly what the government can and cannot do on immigrations matters, we act strictly in accordance with the rules in all sides. Mr Sharif’s status under Pakistani laws is a matter for the Pakistan government and legal system. As such, the non-bailable arrest warrants which have been served by the Pakistan High Commission in London have no legal bearing on his current status in the UK. The UK police cannot arrest someone in the UK on the basis of non-UK court orders.”

The letter added: “Pakistan and Britain do not have an extradition treaty. However, extraditions are still possible and have taken place. If any extradition request were to be submitted through the proper channels, it would be considered in line with the UK laws.”