Islamabad court stops extradition of US citizen of Pakistani origin
Iran Press TV
Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:35PM
A Pakistani court has temporarily barred the extradition of a US citizen of Pakistani origin who is blamed for plotting a terrorist attack in New York.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court on Wednesday suspended the extradition order against Talha Haroon, 19, who is currently jailed in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.
Lawyer Tariq Asad, who petitioned the court against the order, confirmed that his client had won a judicial stay.
"The allegation was that he was planning an armed operation against a public place in New York with" the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, Asad said.
Haroon had returned from the US to Pakistan more than a year ago.
In his application to the court, Haroon's father Haroon Rashid had written that his son had been a victim of "biased and prejudiced policy against the Muslims" by US President Donald Trump.
"The story against the petitioner's son is entirely concocted and false. He is a young teenaged student and in case of extradition he may lose his life and career."
According to an order seen by some media outlets, the judge also summoned officials from the interior ministry for the next court hearing on April 11.
Pakistan, which has previously handed over high-profile fugitives, has a bilateral extradition treaty with the US that was signed before the South Asian country gained independence from Britain in 1947.
Islamabad handed over Mir Qazi, convicted of the 1993 shootings at the CIA headquarters in Langley, and Ramzi Yousef, convicted for his part in the World Trade Center truck bombing the same year.
Pakistani security forces have been battling militant groups since the country joined the so-called US-led war on terror in 2001.
A series of protests have been held in various parts of Pakistan by the families of a number of people disappeared over the past years. Reports say some of those disappeared have been handed over to the US, following the 9/11 attacks. Protesters now want the government to determine the fate of their loved ones.
In addition, critics allege the anti-terrorism operations have resulted in thousands of Pakistanis being detained by state security institutions, without their whereabouts being made available to family members.
Pakistani security agencies have repeatedly denied they have forcibly sequestered, tortured and killed people in the name of counter-terrorism.
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