ISLAMABAD: The ministry of interior has forwarded a formal request to the France-based Interpol secretariat for the issuance of “red warrants” against former president and army chief Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf as well as for his arrest and extradition to Pakistan.
Sources in the ministry told Dawn that the request had been sent to Interpol through its representative in Pakistan. The FIA’s senior public prosecutor, Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, said on Saturday that earlier a letter had been sent to the director of Interpol (Pakistan) by the investigation officer in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case.
It said Gen Musharraf was an accused in the case. The officer also handed over to the Interpol director the investigation reports, copies of statements by then director-general of ISI’s counter-intelligence wing Javed Iqbal Cheema and the former director general of Intelligence Bureau, Ejaz Shah, US-based journalist Marc Siegel’s email to Benazir Bhutto and copies of the orders issued by the anti-terrorism court.
The letter sent through email to the Interpol Pakistan on Feb 2 said: “Secretary General of Interpol Secretariat Lyon (France) is requested to issue ‘red warrants’ for Pervez Musharraf, former president of Pakistan, and arrest him through Interpol. A copy of red notice may please be furnished to this ministry.”
The email also mentioned the computerised national identity card (CNIC) number of the former president.
In minor cases, Mr Ali said, countries generally took a lenient view even after the issuance of red warrants and avoided extraditing the accused.
But in cases relating to terrorism and murder, governments assist each other, he added.
Since the BB assassination case has been registered under section 302 of PPC (relating to murder) and sections 7 and 21 of ATA (serious offences of terrorism), Pakistan is expecting an immediate and positive response to the request for the arrest of the
But Ahmer Bilal Sufi, an expert of international law, said that a red warrant was not a replacement of extradition arrangements.
“It is only an intimation of ‘wanted man’ of a country to other countries.”
For example, he said, since there was no extradition treaty between Pakistan and the UK, the latter was not legally bound to extradite anybody, including Gen Musharraf, even if the Interpol issued red warrants for him.