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June 20, 2019

UK says will not sign ‘politically motivated extradition treaty’

Top Story

June 20, 2019

LONDON: Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has stated that his country will not sign any extradition treaty, which could be used for politically motivated cases.

At a joint press conference with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi here at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), both foreign ministers confirmed that they had discussed the issue of extradition treaty between the two countries. Both Jeremy Hunt and Shah Mahmood Qureshi answered questions by The News on the issues of extradition treaty and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Answering a question, the British foreign secretary replied, “Let me say it straightforward. No extradition treaty the UK will ever sign allowing for the politically motivated extradition.” Shah Mahmood Qureshi added, “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 the capital punishment. We have resolved that by making amendments to Pakistan’s Penal Code. We have taken the decision of making amendment tothat. This will not be misused but there’s an environment which needs to be discussed and concluded.”

Shah Mahmood Qureshi appreciated the UK government’s approach on the FATF. “We had a constructive discussion on the FATF. They (the UK govt) have stated very clearly that they would not like Pakistan to be pushed in the black list. In fact they would want to help us – and we help ourselves – by getting us out of the grey list and we have a clear approach on how to cooperate on that front. The UK delegation has been very supportive in Orlando.”

The British foreign secretary said that the personal connection the two countries is truly extraordinary. “We had very good discussion about the bilateral trade, cooperation in multi-lateral arenas, regional tensions and working together to reduce them. The secretary of state for the International Trade has increased the support for Pakistan from up to £400 million [Rs80 billion] to £1 billion [Rs200 billion],” he said adding he was delighted that the British Airways had recently started services from London to Pakistan.

He said Pakistan and the UK have been great friends for many years and “today is the reaffirmation of that friendship”. He said he had met Qureshi on many occasions and that he enjoyed “excellent working relationship with him”.

Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi said both sides had a great discussion on regional issues and how the “PTI government played a role in defusing tense situation after Pulwama attack and how this government has played its role in tackling issues of money-laundering, terror-financing, FATF and where Pakistan stands on all these issues”. He said there was a huge potential between the countries.

Jeremy Hunt said that she was “much encouraged to see strong commitment of tackling corruption by the Pakistan government, the progress made on FATAF, additional progress that can also be made in that area”.

The Foreign Secretary said that there is a “very clear recognition from Pakistani government that the only way for Pakistan to progress is to do more to tackle this scourge of corruption and I think a lot of progress has been made”.

Qureshi said that the PTI has a clear view about tackling corruption and that he knows how important this is. He said its PTI’s view that the stolen assets should be recovered. He said his government wanted to eliminate corruption through across the board accountability. “Stolen assets should be recovered. We have an assets recovery unit functioning in Pakistan. The government is doing whatever it can to deal with the menace of corruption.”

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