There has been a hue and cry in Pakistan over surrendering the terrorists of JeM and LeT to India, saying that Pakistan does not have an Extradition Treaty with India.
This morning there was this news item in a lot of Indian newspapers which underscores that there is indeed a law in Pakistan – the Extradition Act 1972, which allows Pakistan to hand over fugitives who have committed homicides and other crimes back to that foreign state, where such act was committed, even if there is no extradition treaty with that country.
I have a pdf copy attached below. Though most articles have mentioned that the provision is i Section 49 (1), I found that wording which most articles are talking about in Section 4 (1). The following is the wording of Section 4.
(1)Where the Federal Government considers it expedient that the persons who, being accused or convicted of offences at places within, or within the jurisdiction of, a foreign State, are or are suspected to be in Pakistan should be returned to the State, notwithstanding that there is no extradition treaty with that state, it may, by notification in the official Gazette, direct that the provisions of this Act shall, with respect to such offences and subject to such modifications, exceptions, conditions and qualifications, if any, as may be specified therein, have effect in relation to that State.
(2) Where a direction under sub-section (1) in relation to a foreign State is in force, the provisions of this Act shall, with respect to the offences specified in that direction, have effect in relation to such State as if it were a treaty State.
Now if you look carefully at Section 4 sub section 1, it becomes clear that the criminals can be handed over to the foreign state with which Pak has no treaty (bold). However, the catch is that the Federal government has to bring out a notification in Official Gazette (underlined) and now shall effect with that state even if there is no extradition treaty.
So, it becomes clear that for Federal Government of Pakistan, extradition is NOT a case of “absence of legal powers” but absence of intention!
1. Pak law allows fugitives to be handed over to India
Attachment: Extradition Act 1972.pdf