Islamabad, Feb 22: Pakistan government will seek assistance from law enforcement agencies in Britain to extradite former President Pervez Musharraf to ensure his appearance in court in connection with a case related to former premier Benazir Bhutto's assassination.
The Federal Investigation Agency will submit the extradition request through the Pakistani High Commission in London and not Interpol as is customary though the matter is expected to be complicated as there is no extradition treaty between Britain and Pakistan.
"We have no extradition treaty with England. Therefore, we are writing through the Pakistani High Commission to UK for Musharraf's extradition," FIA prosecutor Muhammad Azhar Chaudhry was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune newspaper.
Chaudhry said the High Commission will send a summons to Musharraf after consulting the home department of Britain, where the former military ruler has been living in self-exile since early 2009.
FIA chief Wasim Ahmad said his agency will pursue the extradition aggressively and leave no stone unturned to arrest the former President.
An anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of five suspects charged with involvement in Bhutto's killing recently reissued an arrest warrant for Musharraf after investigators said he ignored repeated requests to cooperate with the probe into the assassination.
The court has scheduled the next hearing of the case for March 5 and asked prosecutors to present Musharraf on that date.
Musharraf's spokesman Muhammad Ali Saif said the government's attempt to extradite Musharraf is futile and that he did not plan on cooperating with the investigation.
"Musharraf will never lend a hand to the FIA's team, especially after the way they have treated him," said Saif. The FIA also considered sending an extradition request to the United Arab Emirates when Musharraf visited Dubai to meet with members of All Pakistan Muslim League, the new party formed by him.
Diplomatic sources told The Express Tribune that the government is working on finalising extradition treaties with Britain, the US and European countries to prosecute criminals who have fled Pakistan.
Pakistan has been able to request extradition of indicted individuals from the US in the past thanks to a legal interpretation of the extradition treaty that America signed with Britain in 1931.
According to this interpretation, Pakistan is considered a successor state of the British empire and thus has the same obligations and privileges as the colonial British government. PTI