Rawalpindi: The British government has refused to hand over former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to Pakistan in connection with the Benazir Bhutto assassination case, owing to the absence of any extradition treaty between both nations.
The Joint Investigation Team presented a written report of the British Home Department, which was forwarded by the Pakistan High Commission, to the Anti-Terrorist Court (ATC) in Rawalpindi hearing the Benazir murder case.
As per this report, the arrest warrants for Musharraf could not be executed because no formal extradition treaty existed between Pakistan and the UK.
The arrest warrants for Musharraf issued by the court were sent to the British Home Department and the Pakistan High Commission through the Foreign Ministry, The News quoted Chief Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar, as saying.
The Pakistan High Commission had intimated Musharraf’s address in London and arrest warrants were also sent to that address.
Meanwhile, the ATC showed annoyance over the failure of the JIT to serve the arrest warrants, and summoned Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director Wajid Zia, who is also the JIT chairman, to appear in the court on the next date in person to explain the reason behind the delay in serving warrants on Musharraf.
The court warned that it was the last chance for the FIA to produce the former president on the next date, and issued strict orders to the team to serve warrants on Musharraf and produce him before the court on the next date of hearing at all costs.
The court adjourned the hearing of the case until April 9.
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 was assassinated and who had filed the murder FIR, was trying to flee abroad along with other accused arrested in the murder case.
Riaz is said to have submitted an application for getting permission to go abroad and the Punjab police had given him a green signal, Azhar said, adding that they were trying to include the name of Riaz in the Exit Control List (ECL) to stop him from fleeing abroad.
To a question, Azhar said it seemed that there was some close friend of Musharraf in the Foreign Ministry, who was not moving his arrest warrant.