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UK will never allow politically motivated extradition: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt

June 20, 2019

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Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and British Foreign Secretary Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt shaking hands before the 4th review of the Pakistan-UK Enhanced Strategic Dialogue (ESD) at the Foreign and Common-wealth Office on June 19. — Pakistan High Commission
Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and British Foreign Secretary Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt shaking hands before the 4th review of the Pakistan-UK Enhanced Strategic Dialogue (ESD) at the Foreign and Common-wealth Office on June 19. — Pakistan High Commission

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, in a joint press conference held with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in London on Wednesday, assured that "no extradition treaty signed by the UK would ever allow for politically motivated extradition".

According to a statement released by the Pakistan High Commission, Foreign Minister Qureshi and British Foreign Secretary Hunt held the 4th review of Pakistan-UK Enhanced Strategic Dialogue (ESD) at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, today.

"Both sides pledged to move forward with an early conclusion of the extradition treaty and readmission agreement," said the statement.

Qureshi, in response to Hunt's statement to the media, said: "Pakistan does not want to use extradition for political victimisation, that's not the idea."

"We feel that extradition is important. And we have also discussed in my meeting with the [British] home secretary that the impediment [...] was the issue of capital punishment and we have resolved that by taking a decision that we are going to make amendments in the Pakistan penal code to address this issue," said Qureshi.

"So this will not be misused, but it is a requirement which needs to be discussed. And you know, concluded," he added.

The statements by the two dignitaries come in the backdrop of reports that an agreement has been reached between Pakistani and British authorities for the extradition of former finance minister Ishaq Dar to Pakistan.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar on Tuesday claimed that British authorities have agreed to extradite Dar under a memorandum of understanding.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Akbar had said that an agreement in this regard has been reached, but extradition documents for Dar have yet to be signed.

He had said that following the ratification of the document, Dar will be repatriated to Pakistan after being produced before a magistrate.

Media reports that Ishaq Dar had approached the UK Home Office began to surface earlier today.

Ishaq Dar decided "to take up with the UK Home Office the matter of the ongoing 'media trial' against him by Pakistani authorities in relation to the purported MOU signed for his extradition", Ali Dar, Ishaq Dar's son, said in a prepared statement shared with Dawn.com.