Britain may hand over Musharraf to Pakistan: Cameron (Second Lead)

April 5th, 2011 - 6:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Pervez Musharraf Islamabad, April 5 (IANS) Britain will consider handing over former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf to Pakistan in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case, said British Prime Minister David Cameron during his day-long visit to Pakistan Tuesday.

Cameron said that Britain will look into handing over Musharraf if Pakistan asks formally, Samaa TV reported.

Musharraf ruled Pakistan for nine years after taking power in a bloodless coup in 1999. He stepped down in 2008 and left Pakistan. He now lives in London.

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan’s garrison city of Rawalpindi Feb 19 issued an arrest warrant in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case against Musharraf.

Bhutto was assassinated Dec 27, 2007 as she was leaving Liaquat Bagh in a motorcade after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi, the twin city of Islamabad. A teenaged shooter was seen aiming for her head in the CCTV footage before a powerful suicide blast killed at least 24 people participating in the rally.

The interior ministry at that time accused the Taliban of plotting to kill Bhutto while the doctors said as she was standing in her vehicle “her head banged against the lever of the sunroof of her vehicle, which caused her death”.

Cameron arrived in Pakistan to improve ties after he upset Islamabad last year when he said during a visit to India that Pakistan was “looking both ways” on terrorism.

Addressing a press conference Tuesday after holding talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Cameron said the bond between the two countries was “unbreakable”. He announced 650 million pounds worth of aid for education.

“Let me begin by saying without any hesitation that Britain’s friendship with Pakistan is unbreakable,” said Cameron.

There was no doubt about strength of links in several areas, he said, adding that both the countries had agreed to try to double bilateral trade to 2.5 billion pounds a year by 2015.

“It is in our interest that Pakistan succeeds,” Geo TV quoted Cameron as saying.

“By putting money directly into education and helping to educate four million children is an investment for Britain to do our bit to make sure Pakistan is a success.

After arriving here, Cameron visited a mosque and a school.

“Pakistan attaches considerable importance to the British prime minister’s visit and to the close cooperative relationship with the United Kingdom,” Xinhua quoted foreign ministry spokesperson Tehmina Janjua as saying.

Britain has already announced doubling of its development aid to Pakistan over the next four years, which will make Pakistan the biggest recipient of its foreign aid by 2015, receiving 446 million pounds ($718 million) assistance per year.

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