–Although UK does not have a formal extradition treaty with Pakistan, ‘Section 194 of Extradition Act 2003 allows special extradition arrangements in exceptional circumstances’
–British govt rejects online petition moved by activist seeking deportation of Pakistan’s former finance minister suspected of money laundering
Britain does not have a formal extradition treaty with Pakistan but Islamabad can initiate proceedings against former finance minister Ishaq Dar under “Section 194 of the Extradition Act 2003 which allows special extradition arrangements in exceptional circumstances”, according to an official statement.
A statement issued by the British authorities said that “under current law, an extradition process is initiated at the request of the government of the country in which the individual has been convicted of the crime. Therefore, it would be the Pakistani government’s responsibility to initiate such proceedings”.
The statement was released after the British government rejected a petition which called on Theresa May’s government to deport Dar to Pakistan from London.
The petition was filed by an activist from the UK around a month ago which was signed by more than 80,000 internet users making a number of allegations against Dar, but the British government rejected these allegations and made it clear that the petition will not be entertained.
A written statement issued by the petitions team of UK government and parliament said: “We rejected the petition you supported – “Deport absconder Pakistan’s Ex-Finance Minister Ishaq Dar back to Pakistan.”
The statement said that the online petition against Dar included “libellous, false or defamatory information,” which could not be relied upon to take action against him.
Earlier on September 11, Additional Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Anwar Mansoor informed the apex court that the government is holding consultations for the repatriation of Ishaq Dar.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar resumed hearing a case pertaining to Dar’s return to the country.
The apex court declared Dar an absconder in the case owing to his continuous absence in the hearings despite repeated warnings by the top judge.
Earlier on September 10, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s government cancelled the diplomatic passport of former finance minister and PML-N leader Ishaq Dar and his wife.
Ishaq Dar and his wife are currently in London, Dar has to return passport within 30 days but they did not return the passport.
On July 21, the Interior Ministry approved the issuance of red warrants against former finance minister Ishaq Dar.
The red warrant is an international notice sent to the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) seeking the arrest and extradition of an individual.
The sanction came following the recommendation of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has written a letter to Interpol for the detention of Ishaq Dar while the case has also been forwarded to them after the approval of the interior secretary.
FIA has requested the assistance of Interpol in Dar’s arrest from London.
In its reference against the former finance minister, NAB alleged that “the accused has acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his own name and/or in the name of his dependents of an approximate amount of Rs831.678 million (approx)”.
The reference alleged that the assets were “disproportionate to his known sources of income for which he could not reasonably account for”.
The court has declared him a proclaimed offender over his perpetual absence from the trial proceedings and attached his movable and immovable properties.
Dar, a former senator, has been in London since October last year on account of his medical treatment. Moreover, a reference against the former finance minister was filed by the NAB in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case.
Dar had earlier been declared a proclaimed offender by the accountability court due to his continuous absence from the proceedings.
In November 2017, then-prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had accepted Dar’s request to be relieved of his duties as the finance minister.