August 20, 2006Foreign Affairs

Things that go Rauf in the night

Whose cat is it?

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

You will be forgiven for admiring the rule of law in Pakistan going by the manner in which the Musharraf regime is handling Rashid Rauf, an alleged plotter in the foiled transatlantic airline bombing case. After his arrest’, Rauf has been produced before a court and remanded into custody. Given that there is a reasonable doubt about his nationality, the Pakistani authorities are determined to give him the benefit of it. Extradition to Britain remains a far cry, as British authorities will not even be allowed to interrogate him until legal experts’ sort out the fine aspects of Pakistani and international law. There’s no extradition treaty between Britain and Pakistan, you see.

You will be forgiven, of course, until you realise that such legal niceties have been applied only in cases whose cat it is in the bag. The last time Musharraf took this this strictly legalistic approach was in the case of that other Briton-of-Pakistani origin—Omar Saeed Sheikh. Omar Saeed, of course, is facing punishment under Pakistani law, which entails being allowed to turn his prison guards and mentor jihadis. If Pakistan is the best refuge for international jihadis who want to hide, then Pakistani prisons are the best refuge for those jihadis who have been found.

Musharraf and his officials proclaimed that it was Pakistan, which discovered the plot and alerted the British about it on August 9. They projected Rashid Rauf, a British citizen of Pakistani origin, as the chief co-ordinator of the plot on behalf of the Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. What strip-tease they have been playing about Rashid Rauf!

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