ISLAMABAD, Aug 28: The government on Monday confirmed that it had received a request from the United Kingdom for extradition of British national Rashid Rauf, a key suspect arrested in connection with the foiled London terror plot, and disclosed that he was picked from Rawalpindi early this month.
“Yes they have sought his extradition and the matter is under consideration,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said in reply to a question at the weekly news briefing. She dispelled the impression that Pakistan would be reluctant to extradite him.
The spokesperson announced: “Mr Rauf was arrested in Rawalpindi. Presently he is under detention and we are investigating his involvement in terrorist activities in three areas – his link with Al Qaeda, threat projected to the UK; and threat projected in Pakistan.”
“The information being obtained from our investigations is being shared with the UK through appropriate channels,” Ms Aslam said.
In reply to a question about cooperation from Afghanistan, she said the information being derived from the investigations had been shared mainly with the UK.
She contested the notion that any of the suspect’s legal rights would be violated while he was under detention here, reminding a questioner that in the war against terrorism there had been cases where people had been held for years without lawyers.
When asked if Mr Rauf had been provided consular access, Ms Aslam asserted that it had not been requested. Asked if his father was also under detention the spokesperson advised the questioner to contact the interior secretary for further details.
Ms Aslam told a questioner she had no clue about arrests in Bahawalpur.
Replying to a question, she underscored that the suspected Al Qaeda members handed over to the United States authorities were not Pakistanis, their countries were not willing to accept them and they had committed crimes in the US.
Responding to a question, she said the British government had completed the procedure for declaring the banned Balochistan Liberation Army a terrorist organisation.
LOC VIOLATION: On Indian violation of ceasefire on the Line of Control, Ms Aslam said Pakistan had lodged formal protest with India. “There have been two such violations in which innocent civilians were fired upon,” she maintained.
The spokesperson did not rule out the possibility of President Pervez Musharraf’s meeting with Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the NAM summit in Havana next month.