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SC seeks inquiry into man’s extradition to Iran

June 27, 2008


ISLAMABAD, June 26: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the interior ministry to submit a report by July 14, after holding an inquiry into the extradition of Ghulam Haider Raisani to Iran. Raisani is accused of being involved in terrorist activities.

A three-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, Justice Ijaz-ul-Hassan and Justice Chaudhry Ejaz Yousaf took up a petition of Raisani’s against the rejection of a plea by the Balochistan High Court.

The petitioner’s advocate, Zulfikar Khalid Maluka, told Dawn that he had argued before the court that Raisani’s extradition involved a case of mistaken identity. In the officials documents he had been shown as Abdul Hameed Regi Shifa, an Iranian national wanted by Tehran.

He said the court had expressed displeasure over the misleading report submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency about the identity of the accused and his subsequent handing over to the Iranian government without completing required formalities under the extradition treaty.

Ghulam Raisani was handed over to Iran on June 14, 2008, for his alleged involvement in kidnapping of Iranian security personnel.

He was arrested a few months ago on terrorism charges but was acquitted by an anti-terrorism court.

Activists of the Baloch National Front (women’s wing) and Baloch Students Organisation held a demonstration outside the Iranian Consulate in protest against the government’s move to extradite Raisani.

Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah informed the SC bench that the accused had been handed over to the Iranian government after completing necessary requirements.

However, he assured the court that a thorough inquiry would be conducted into the matter, but rejected the allegations that a wrong person had been handed over to the Iranian authorities.

The secretary said since the accused was involved in high profile cases, the Iranian government had sent a special plane to take him to Iran.

He said the accused was an Iranian national and it was wrong to suggest that he belonged to Balochistan’s Raisani tribe.

Attorney General Malik Mohammad Qayyum informed the court that Raisani had been handed over to the director general of political affairs in Iran in accordance with the provisions of the extradition treaty.

He said the Pakistan government had received a 300-page file, including photographs of Raisani, from the Iranian government.