Has Pakistan ever provided Political Asylum to any one ? Remember Ghaith Pharaon.


In the wake of the July 1991 shutdown of the criminal BCCI bank, the Pakistani government indicates that it is willing to shelter BCCI figures wanted in other countries. For instance, an international arrest warrant is issued for BCCI front man Ghaith Pharaon, and Pakistan has signed an extradition treaty with the US and other countries. But in August 1991, Pakistani Interior Minister Shujaat Hussain, who has authority to block extraditions, states flatly that Pharaon is his friend and he will give him citizenship, protection from extradition, and even immunity from local prosecution.

Furthermore, the Los Angeles Times reports that some other senior and mid-level BCCI managers being investigated in the US have already fled to Pakistan. Technically, BCCI was not a Pakistani bank, but 10,000 out of BCCIs estimated 12,000 employees were Pakistani.

The Times reports that Hussain has made clear that BCCIs blameless and blamed alike can find shelter from investigations into the banks conduct in any of the more than 70 countries where it operated. Asked if Pakistan would extradite BCCI founder Agha Hasan Abedi, Hussein flatly states, We will not allow it. Furthermore, BCCIs offices remain open in Pakistan and the government at that time stated that it will not investigate the bank. [Los Angeles Times, 8/12/1991]

A majority of the bank was owned by Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the UAE similarly indicates that it will not extradite any of the 18 top BCCI managers living there. The UAE todate is also sitting on most of BCCIs financial records. [Time, 8/3/1992] BCCI branches in the UAE were not shut down either, but are simply renamed to become the National Union Bank. [BBC, 8/5/1991] Many years later, Pakistan will still be protecting BCCI figures such as Pharaon.
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