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UK ( England ) refuses to hand over Musharraf to Pakistan

RAWALPINDI: The British government has refused to hand over to Pakistan former president Pervez Musharraf, who is wanted by the Joint Investigation Team in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case, to Pakistan.

The FIA presented a written report of the British Home Department to the court that was sent by the Pakistan High Commission. As per this report, no formal extradition treaty existed between Pakistan and the UK, therefore, arrest warrants for Pervez Musharraf could not be executed.

Chief Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar said the arrest warrants for Pervez Musharraf issued by the court were sent to the British Home Department and the Pakistan High Commission through the Foreign Ministry. The Pakistan High Commission had intimated about Pervez Musharraf’s address in London and arrest warrants were also sent to this address. —Online

Khalid Iqbal adds: The Anti-Terrorist Court (ATC) No-III, Rawalpindi, Judge Rana Nisar Ahmed on Saturday showed annoyance over the failure of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to serve arrest warrants on former president Pervez Musharraf in the Benazir Bhutto murder case.

The court ordered Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director Wajid Zia, who is also chairman of the JIT, to appear in the court on the next date in person to answer as to why there was a delay in serving warrants on Musharraf.

The court warned that it was the last chance for the FIA to produce Musharraf on the next date. The court issued strict orders to the JIT to serve warrants on Musharraf and produce him before the court on the next date of hearing at all costs. The court adjourned further hearing of the case till April 9.

During the hearing that was held in the Adiala Jail, FIA Assistant Director Khalid Rasool told the court that they had not received any positive response to serve the arrest warrant on Musharraf. He gave a detailed report about reminders sent in this regard but the court showed great annoyance. The court said that it was not a satisfactory answer and warned that it was the last chance for the FIA to produce Musharraf.

Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar told media persons outside the Adiala Jail that they had been informed by their sources that Inspector Kashif Riaz, who was the SHO of City Police Station when Benazir Bhutto was assassinated and who had filed the murder FIR, was trying to flee abroad, along with other accused arrested in the former prime minister’s murder case. He is said to have submitted an application for getting permission to go abroad and the Punjab police had given him a green signal, he added.

He said that they were trying to include the name of Kashif Riaz in the Exit Control List (ECL) to stop him from fleeing abroad. Kashif Riaz was very close to the former City Police Officer (CPO) Saud Aziz, that explains why he had been posted as SHO of a very important police station at that time, he said.

To a question, the special public prosecutor said that it seems that there is some close friend of Musharraf in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who is not moving his arrest warrant. To another question, he said that in a statement Interior Minister Rehman Malik had hinted at some more arrests in the Benazir murder case. However, he said, that they had not yet arrested anybody. “If we had made some more arrests, we would have informed the court about it first of all,” he said. He also said that if Musharraf fails to present himself in the court, he would be declared a proclaimed offender and his property would be confiscated.

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