THE absurdity of the notion is only heightened, perhaps, by the fact that not just does it come from Pakistan — the justice system of which is characterised by inefficiency and sluggishness — but also comes from amongst the highest tiers of government and concerns a high-profile murder case that is potentially politically explosive.
On Tuesday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that an FIR regarding the killing of MQM leader Dr Imran Farooq in 2010 would be registered here, and that the task had been assigned to the Islamabad chapter of the Federal Investigation Agency.
The issue of jurisdiction seems to not have concerned him; after all, Dr Farooq was met with fatal violence near his residence in Edgware, the UK, and had been a long-time citizen of and resident in that country. While his political association with Pakistan may have been significant, this country’s legal system has little to do with a crime not committed within its own borders.
Further, the crime is already under investigation of the London Metropolitan Police, headquartered at Scotland Yard.
At the heart of the issue, it appears, is three men who are under custody in Pakistan. They are suspected of having been involved in the murder of Dr Farooq, and were interviewed by London Met police investigators during the summer upon being given access by the local authorities.
Mr Nisar told the press conference that the suspects’ remand had expired, leaving the government with making the choice between releasing them or registering a formal case against them. “British authorities did not make any request for the extradition of these suspects,” the minister said.
Whatever one might think of this statement, his comments implying that the London Met police were pursuing the case inefficiently must provoke only astonishment.
Only recently, Mr Nisar raised the issue that countries which suspected a Pakistani of having committed a crime were responsible for conducting investigations against them. Curious that he should hold such a different view of jurisdiction now.
Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2015