Pak investigators to seek Musharraf extradition

Posted By: Pti
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Rezaul H Laskar

Islamabad, Feb 13 (PTI) Pakistan''s FederalInvestigation Agency will seek the extradition of formerPresident Pervez Musharraf after his refusal to appear beforean anti-terrorism court on charges that he failed to provideadequate security to slain former premier Benazir Bhutto.

"We have decided to write to the Home Secretary of theUK for General Musharraf''s extradition," an unnamed senior FIAofficial was quoted as saying by The Express Tribunenewspaper.

The decision was made at a meeting chaired yesterdayby Interior Minister Rehman Malik, the report said.

An anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi yesterday issueda warrant for the arrest of Musharraf after the specialprosecutor handling the case alleged that he had notcooperated with the investigation into Bhutto''s assassination.

Pakistan and Britain do not have a formal extraditiontreaty, which is likely to make the process complicated, saidlegal expert Salman Akram Raja.

Any extradition request will depend on relevantBritish laws, he said.

Musharraf''s legal advisor Muhammad Ali Saif told PTIthere was "no possibility" of the former military rulerappearing in court despite the warrant.

He also challenged the allegations levelled againstMusharraf.

The FIA earlier named Musharraf as an "absconder",saying he had failed to cooperate with investigators.

Musharraf was accused of failing to provide adequatesecurity to Bhutto after she returned to Pakistan fromself-exile in October 2007.

Bhutto was killed by a suicide attacker in Rawalpinditwo months later.

Investigators have also alleged that two policeofficers, who were recently arrested for negligence inproviding security to Bhutto, were acting on Musharraf''sinstructions.

The prosecution is also dealing with a change of thehead of the team investigating Bhutto''s killing.

The Interior Minister has appointed FIA Director WajidZia as the new head of the team.

Khalid Qureshi, the former head, will join a course atthe Lahore Staff College this week.

However, some observers believe the government wasunhappy with Qureshi because he implicated Musharraf withouttaking the Interior Minister on board and revealed hisfindings in court, The Express Tribune reported.

The observers criticised the Interior Minister''sdecision to appoint a junior official to head theinvestigation, saying it might slow down the momentum of theprobe. .

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