Extradition treaty with UK

Pakistan and the UK are reportedly close to an agreement on an extradition treaty, with an “understanding” being reached between Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid and British High Commissioner Christian Turner during a recent meeting. Negotiations on an extradition treaty have been ongoing since October 2019, with the PTI government explicitly listing former PM Nawaz Sharif among the people it hopes to repatriate under such a treaty if and when both countries put pen to paper.

However, there is reason to believe that talks are not as advanced as Pakistani authorities would suggest, including the fact that there was no formal statement from the high commission or reporting on the subject by British media. This is odd because, for better or worse, an extradition treaty also matters to the UK because of the relatively large number of criminals that have fled the island and returned to Pakistan to escape justice. We have seen several reports in the past about members of grooming gangs and domestic violence suspects who reached Pakistan while out on bail and who were living lavishly here, while their victims were denied justice. That said, both sides have previously cooperated on a case-by-case basis, mostly relating to violent criminals.

Still, even if an extradition treaty is signed in the near future, it will not be a blanket guarantee for extradition approval. This is because countries regularly refuse to extradite people — treaty or not — if the punishment the subject faces would dramatically exceed punishments for similar crimes under local law. As an example, the UK has no death penalty and would not deport a convicted murderer without an assurance that he would face no more than life imprisonment. While this is not an issue in Nawaz’s case, the government would need to prove that the crime he was convicted of in Pakistan is also a crime in the UK, and that the trial met British standards. This might not be as clear cut — only last year we saw how evidence that Pakistani authorities felt was enough to incriminate Shehbaz Sharif was rejected by a British court.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2022.

Like Opinion & Editorial on Facebook, follow @ETOpEd on Twitter to receive all updates on all our daily pieces.

Source link

Latest Articles

More From Us

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here