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September 15, 2018

UK rejects petition seeking Dar’s deportation

Top Story

September 15, 2018

LONDON: The British government rejected a petition which called on the Theresa May’s government to deport former finance minister Ishaq Dar to Pakistan from London.

The petition was launched by an activist from the UK around a month ago, which was signed by more than 80,000 internet users making a number of allegations against Ishaq Dar but a statement by the British government rejected these allegations and made it clear that the petition would not be entertained.

A written statement issued by the Petitions Team of the UK government and the Parliament said, ”We rejected the petition you supported – “Deport absconder Pakistan’s ex-finance minister Ishaq Dar back to Pakistan”. The statement said that the petition online against Ishaq Dar included “libellous, false or defamatory information” which could not be relied upon to take action against Ishaq Dar.

It told the petitioners that Britain has no formal extradition treaty with Pakistan. The “Section 194 of the Extradition Act 2003 does allow special extradition arrangements in exceptional circumstances.

However, under the current law, an extradition process is initiated at the request of the government of the country in which the individual has been convicted of a crime. It would, therefore, be the Pakistani government's responsibility to initiate such proceedings.

The Petitions Committee said it reviewed the petition after getting 10,000 signatures for its consideration but was rejected upon the technical and legal grounds. The Petitions Committee is set up by the House of Commons. It comprises up to 11 members of Parliament from government and opposition parties.

The number of committee members from each political party is representative of the membership of the House of Commons as a whole. The former finance minister Ishaq Dar presently resides in the UK without a passport after his diplomatic passport was cancelled by the Foreign Office. It is pertinent to mention that the Supreme Court of Pakistan has called the government of Pakistan to bring back Ishaq Dar for the cases under trial in the apex court. The petition had alleged that “Dar has been declared an absconder in a corruption reference filed against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of Pakistan” and “every year hundreds of children die of hunger in South Pakistan and these corrupt politicians make millions in corruption and leave the country to hide elsewhere, mostly in the UK” and therefore “they must be deported back to Pakistan so that they can be held accountable”.

Ishaq Dar has become stateless after Pakistan’s federal government cancelled his diplomatic passport. The cancellation of the passport means that Ishaq Dar is in London without a travel document and unable to travel to Pakistan. Ishaq Dar arrived in the UK last year in November to seek medical treatment. He is under treatment of London Neurosurgery Partnership at the Harley Street.

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