Pakistan to extradite convicted child sex offender to UK


–Ikhalaq Hussain’s arrest further operational success for UK-Pakistan justice and accountability partnership

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is set to extradite a convicted child sex offender to the United Kingdom (UK) after he was arrested following a joint Pakistan and UK operation.

Choudhry Ikhalaq Hussain was arrested during a joint operation between the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Punjab Police and the UK’s National Crime Agency in Sangla on Saturday, officials said.

In 2016, Hussain was convicted and sentenced in the UK to 19 years imprisonment for serious sexual offences against a child. Hussain was found guilty of three counts of sexual activity with a child, two counts of rape and one count of conspiracy to rape. This followed a long-running Greater Manchester Police investigation – named Operation Doublet – which looked into the sexual exploitation of teenage girls in Rochdale.

Hussain fled to Pakistan during the trial but was found guilty in absentia. The UK has been working closely with Pakistan’s authorities since 2017 to secure his arrest and extradition.

Officials have told this correspondent that an extradition request has been placed by the UK to Pakistan for Hussain’s immediate extradition to the UK following the arrest. Its understood that he will be extradited within weeks to face jail in the UK.

Hussain’s arrest is a further operational success for the UK-Pakistan justice and accountability partnership established during the British home secretary’s visit to Pakistan in September 2018. The partnership includes a renewed commitment to tackling shared threats of organised crime and international criminality between our two countries.

British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew CMG said: “The arrest of this individual, who has been convicted of sexual offenses by a British court, is a significant achievement, and another excellent example of UK-Pakistan cooperation in tackling international criminality and impunity. It sends a clear message that Pakistan is not a safe haven for international criminals.”

“I would like to thank the Federal Investigation Agency and the Punjab Police for their professionalism and dedication in the execution of this operation. Choudhry Ikhalaq Hussain’s case will now go to courts, who will decide whether to approve his extradition to the UK,” he added.

In October 2018, Shahid Mohammad, an individual wanted in connection with the murder of five children and three adults, was successfully extradited to the UK.

Choudhry Ikhalaq Hussain was born in 1977 and lived at Mayfield Terrace in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

British Home Secretary Sajid Javid visited Pakistan 17-18 September 2018. During his visit, the home secretary agreed to a new justice and accountability partner to help Pakistan and the UK tackle the shared threats posed by serious and organised crime and international criminality. The partnership has strengthened collaboration and delivered a number of outcomes. This includes the extradition in October 2018 of Shahid Mohammad – wanted in the UK for the murder of five children and three adults.

It also includes the signing in December 2018 of an updated prisoner transfer agreement. This was signed by the British High Commissioner Thomas Drew and Pakistan Interior Secretary Major (r) Azam Suleman Khan. The updated agreement gives prisoners the opportunity to serve their sentence closer to home and allows them to prepare for their reintegration into their home community when they are eventually released from prison.