US seeks extradition of 10 criminals from Pakistan
By Shaukat Piracha
ISLAMABAD: Washington has handed over a list of 10 wanted criminals to Islamabad, seeking their early extradition to the United States, highly placed sources told Daily Times.
“The US handed over a list of 10 wanted persons involved in heinous crimes at a meeting of the Pak-US Joint Working Group (JWG) in Washington last month,” sources said. Interior Secretary Tasneem Noorani had led a four-member Pakistani delegation to the April 9-11 JWG meeting in Washington where various aspects of counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries were discussed. Sources also said Islamabad had renewed its demand for the extradition of high-profile criminals wanted by Pakistan and hiding in the US, including former Sindh chief minister Abdullah Shah and former Pakistan Steel chairman Salman Faroorqi.
When Daily Times contacted Interior Secretary Noorani to ascertain the US request during the JWG meeting, he confirmed receiving such a request. “They demanded the extradition of 10 wanted criminals involved in killings, drug trafficking etc,” he said. Asked about Pakistan’s response to the request, Noorani said the cases would be processed in the courts in Pakistan in accordance with Pakistani law and that is what ‘we told the authorities in the US’.
“Cases of pending extradition requests by the government of Pakistan were taken up with the US authorities and they indicated that they are undertaking due diligence and legal process to make the extradition possible,” he said when asked if Pakistan had pressed its case for the extradition of Abdullah Shah or Salman Farooqi.
“The US authorities expressed sincere gratitude for our assistance in the fight against terrorism and acknowledged that tangible support from Pakistan (was) unmatched by any other country around the world.” About the future cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism, Mr Noorani said the US had assured Pakistan of assistance to strengthen law enforcement agencies, especially the Frontier Corps and Rangers.
“During the last fiscal year, they (the US) committed $98 million for the said purpose. However, in the (JWG) meeting, they committed a supplementary grant of $25 million for the last fiscal year and an additional $38 million for next year,” he said.
The interior secretary hoped that with the impact of the assistance becoming visible, the US would provide more financial assistance to Pakistan for fighting terrorism.