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WASHINGTON: The International Criminal Police Organisation, commonly known as Interpol, has assured Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani that it has not issued an arrest warrant for him.

“The General Secretariat of the International Crimi­nal Police Organisation, Interpol, hereby certifies that as of today (April 18, 2018), Mr Husain Haqqani, born on July 1, 1956, is not subject to an Interpol Blue Notice or diffusion and is not known in Interpol’s data basis,” says a letter issued by Interpol’s office of legal affairs.

According to Mr Haqqani, his lawyer had contacted Interpol after the media ran reports about an arrest warrant for him. In response, Interpol sent him the letter.

Interpol notices are international requests for cooperation or alerts allowing police in member countries to share crime-related information.

A ‘blue notice’ is a request to collect additional information about a person’s identity, location or activities in relation to a crime. After a blue notice, Interpol can issue a ‘red notice’ to seek the location and arrest of wanted people with a view to extradition or similar lawful action.

A blue notice is the first step indicating Interpol’s interest in a person sought by the national police of a member state. A red notice follows a blue notice.

Earlier this month, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) announced in Islamabad that it had asked Interpol to issue a red notice for Mr Haqqani’s arrest.

This was, however, not the first such request. The FIA has contacted Interpol in the past as well, asking it to issue a red notice for Mr Haqqani.

However, Interpol sought more information about the case but did not issue a warrant.

Last month, the FIA registered a case against the former envoy accusing him of committing “criminal breach of trust, misuse of authority and embezzlement of funds” at Pakistan’s embassy in the US. The case was registered under Sections 3, 4, 409, 420 and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Mr Haqqani, who lives in Washington, claims that the charges against him are of political nature and that’s why Interpol has not responded to Pakistan’s request.

Published in Dawn, April 29th, 2018