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Ishaq Dar Informs Britain’s Home Office About ‘Media Trial’: Hunt Rules Out Any Extradition Treaty For Politically-Motivated Cases

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LONDON: Former finance minister Ishaq Dar visited Britain’s Home Office to inform the authorities about the “media trial” being run by the PTI government in Pakistan in the name of a recently-signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries.

On the other hand, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Wednesday made it clear that the United Kingdom would not sign any extradition treaty which could be used for politically-motivated cases.

Geo News reported that it was Dar’s second visit to the Home Office since arriving in the UK more than a year ago.

His son Ali Dar confirmed that his father had “decided to take up with the UK Home Office the matter of the on-going media trial against him by Pakistani authorities”.

Earlier in April, the Pakistan Electronic Media Authority (PEMRA) had banned the coverage of the former finance minister on local televisions, saying he was a proclaimed offender and wanted by the courts in different cases.

On Wednesday, Ali confirmed that Dar had first contacted Home Office last year when his passport was “unlawfully cancelled through an order of the Former Chief Justice of Pakistan in September 2018”.

Previously, Dar had stated that he had visited the Home Office to inform them of the development of cancellation of his passport which left him practically ‘stateless’.

It is understood that Dar decided to approach the British government after the government ministers claimed that the UK government had assured them that he would be extradited to Pakistan to face trial.

Ali said his father informed the Home Office officials that the PTI government was maligning him through media, using the British government’s name. 

Separately, Hunt, at a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, responding to a question said, “Let me say it straightforward. No extradition treaty the UK will ever sign allowing for the politically motivated extradition.”

However, he confirmed the two had discussed the issue of an extradition treaty between the UK and Pakistan.

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Speaking on the occasion, Qureshi said, “We don’t want to use extradition for political victimisation; we feel that extradition [treaty] is important.”

“We discussed with the foreign secretary the impediment in signing this treaty, which was capital punishment. We have resolved that by making amendments in Pakistan’s Penal Code. We have taken the decision of making amendment in that.”

“This will not be misused but there’s an environment which needs to be discussed and concluded,” he added.

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