India to ink extradition pact with Afghanistan

India to ink extradition pact with Afghanistan

India to ink extradition pact with Afghanistan

India and Afghanistan will finally sign an extradition treaty this week, almost 16 months after they had agreed to ink the pact.

The treaty is likely to be inked during Afghan President M Ashraf Ghani’s two-day visit to India, commencing on Wednesday.

A Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday approved the signing and ratification of the treaty, according to a press release issued by the government. “The treaty would provide a legal framework for seeking extradition of terrorists, economic offenders and other criminals to and from Afghanistan,” it said.

It was during Ghani’s visit to New Delhi on April 28, 2015, that he and Modi had agreed to ink the extradition treaty and five other pacts – Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons Between India and Afghanistan, two Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties in Criminal, Civil and Commercial Matters, a Motor Vehicles Agreement for Regulation of Passenger, Personal and Cargo Vehicular Traffic and the MoU on Visa Free Entry for Holders of Diplomatic Passports.

Though Ghani and Modi had agreed to ink all the pacts by the end of July 2015, only one of them could be inked in the past 16 months. The pact for the visa-free entry for diplomatic passport holders was signed on February 1. The past 16 months, however, saw two visits by Modi to Afghanistan, first in December 2015 to inaugurate the new Afghan parliament complex built by India in Kabul and then in June 2016 to inaugurate the Salma Dam in Herat province of the war-torn country. The prime minister met the Afghan president on both the occasions, but the procedure for signing most of the pacts agreed upon in April 2015 could not be finalised.

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