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SC halts extradition of Pakistan-origin suspect to US

SC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday sought details of extradition treaties with the United States and the United Kingdom.

A bench of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mushir Alam barred the extradition of Talha Haroon, a Pakistani-origin American suspect of terrorism in the New York Times Square attack to United States till further orders.

The bench asked if Pakistan have treaties of the exchange of accused with the US and UK and details of the accused wanted in cases to Pakistan.

The court restrained the extradition of the accused to the US till further orders and summoned the attorney general and relevant officials of the foreign ministry along with the record.

During today’s hearing, the court also inquired into the number of people extradited by Pakistan from the US and the UK and those extradited from Pakistan.

Justice Qazi Amin also asked how can extradition take place between the two countries if there is no agreement between Pakistan and the US. He said Pakistan is a sovereign state and will protect its citizens according to law and could not them over to another country.

The petitioner’s counsel said a single bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had ruled that the evidence of handing over Talha Haroon to the United States was not admissible. He said the court had left it to the inquiry magistrate to decide the nature of the offence.

The court adjourned further hearing of the case for the next two weeks. According to the investigation carried out by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Talha Haroon was in Pakistan in April 2016 and had planned multiple terrorist attacks in New York City.

Last year in May, the IHC barred the government from handing over the American citizen of Pakistani origin to the United States.

Haroon, aged 19, is accused of involvement in planning an attack in New York City and was arrested in Pakistan in 2016 after US authorities identified him as one of three men planning attacks on Times Square and the subway.

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