Islamabad: Taking a U-turn, Pakistan has
said it is "not pursuing" the extradition of former President
Pervez Musharraf from the UK to ensure his appearance in court
for a case related to ex-premier Benazir Bhutto`s murder, days
after asserting that the matter will be taken up with Britain.
"We are not pursuing the extradition of Gen Musharraf
from the UK," Interior Minister Rehman Malik said at a joint
news conference yesterday with visiting British Immigration
Minister Damian Green and Sayeeda Warsi, Chairperson of the
UK`s ruling Conservative Party.
His remarks came days after Federal Investigation Agency
(FIA) prosecutor Muhammad Azhar Chaudhry told the media that
Musharraf`s extradition will be taken up with British
authorities by Pakistan`s High Commission in London.
At the press conference, Green was asked about
Musharraf`s possible extradition from Britain where the former
military ruler has been living in self-exile since early 2009,
but Malik advised him not to make any comment.
FIA chief Waseem Ahmed too told the media that the agency
is not pursuing Musharraf`s extradition. He said the FIA had
not contacted Interpol in this regard.
An anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of five
suspects charged with involvement in Bhutto`s killing recently
reissued an arrest warrant for Musharraf after investigators
said he had ignored repeated requests to cooperate with the
probe into the assassination.
The court has scheduled the next hearing of the case for
March 5 and asked prosecutors to present Musharraf on that
An FIA investigation team visited Musharraf`s farmhouse
at Chak Shahzad in Islamabad on Friday and served the arrest
A copy of the warrant bears the mailing address of
Musharraf`s London apartment, an FIA source was quoted as
saying by Dawn newspaper.
The extradition of an accused from Britain to Pakistan is
a complicated issue because the two countries do not have an
Musharraf`s spokesman Muhammad Ali Saif said the
government`s attempt to extradite Musharraf is futile and that
he did not plan on cooperating with the investigation.