UK govt may not extradite Musharraf: Report

Islamabad: The British government may not extradite former President Pervez Musharraf even if Pakistan obtains a Red Corner Notice against him from Interpol as the two countries do not have an extradition treaty, according to a media report today.

Britain does not usually hand over wanted persons to countries where the death penalty is enforced.

If a country approaches the British government through an international organisation like Interpol, the request is processed by the British judicial system before a decision is taken, The News daily quoted its sources as saying.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who visited London last week, held meetings with senior officials there but did not take up the issue of the handing over of Musharraf to Pakistan in the course of her interactions, the report said.

A senior British diplomatic source told the daily that not only Musharraf but a number of people from various countries living in Britain are wanted by their governments on different counts.

As long as they obey the law in Britain, they are not deported, the source claimed.
Pakistan has not approached the British government as yet for the handing over of Musharraf, the report said.

Musharraf has not sought asylum in Britain but is staying as a guest who respects "British laws faithfully", the daily quoted its sources as saying. "We have no problem with his staying in the United Kingdom," a source said.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said the Pakistan government intends to approach Interpol soon to obtain a Red Corner Notice for Musharraf so that he can be arrested and brought back to Pakistan to face trial in connection with the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto.

An Interpol Red Corner Notice is "the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use today as Interpol does not have the authority to issue arrest warrants in the formal sense of the word as this is the domain of the sovereign member states", sources said.

Malik has said the Federal Investigation Agency has been directed to write to Interpol for a Red Corner Notice for Musharraf.

Baloch nationalist leader Harbyar Marri, who is wanted in Pakistan, faced trial in a court during his stay in Britain but was acquitted of the charges against him. He is now living in Britain with legal documents.