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February 12, 2021

UK reiterates extraditions to Pakistan possible but in line with UK law

Top Story

February 12, 2021

LONDON: The British government has said that there is no extradition treaty between Pakistan and the UK and the UK government does not shelter or harbour anyone.

The UK government’s Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said this in a letter to East Ham’s Labour MP Stephen Timms who had written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Office on 16 December if any arrangements were made to send back Nawaz Sharif. The East London Labour MP had forwarded a letter of his British Pakistani constituent Khalid Lodhi to 10 Downing Street.

Lord Tariq Ahmed, the Minister of State for South Asia, has now replied directly to the MP, stating that a charter flight to Pakistan successfully departed the UK on 15 December 2020 with 18 immigration offenders on board. The News and Geo had reported exclusively that a chartered flight from the UK to Pakistan was not allowed by the Pakistani authorities to express annoyance but the UK authorities issued legal action threat and then the flight was allowed.

The Minister of State for South Asia said that he cannot comment on individual immigration cases “but I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that the UK government does not ‘shelter’ or ‘harbour’ anyone.

The minister added: “This means through which to seek formal UK government assistance regarding the return of individuals to Pakistan is through the formal extradition process. The UK and Pakistan do not currentlyhave an extradition treaty. Extraditions are still possible and have taken place, however, and if any extradition request were to be submitted through the proper channels, it would be considered in line with the UK law.”

The minister noted that officials from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office had recently responded directly to Khalid Lodhi’s letter. In that reply, the FCDO stated the British government cannot take action against Nawaz on the basis of non-bailable arrest warrants served by Pakistan High Commission in London.