Lahore: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has restricted the Pakistan government from extraditing the top Afghan Taliban Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was nabbed from Karachi earlier this month, and four other Taliban commanders to any other foreign country.
The LHC has also summoned both the federal and provincial governments on March 15 in connection with the case.
It may be noted that one Khalid Khwaja had filed a petition in the LHC against the arrest of the five Afghan Taliban leaders.
In his petition, Khwaja has requested that the five extremist leaders should not be deported to any country.
The other four Taliban commanders include Mullah Saleem, Maulvi Kabeer, Mullah Mohammad and Ameer Muavia.
The LHC’s decision comes a day after the Afghanistan government released a statement which claimed that Islamabad has agreed to hand over Baradar, the Taliban’s second-in command to it.
“The government of Pakistan has accepted Afghanistan's proposal for extraditing Mullah Baradar and other Taliban who are in its custody and showed readiness to hand over those prisoners ... on the basis of an agreement between the two countries,” the statement issued from President Hamid Karzai’s office said.
Baradar is one of the 42 people, including other top Taliban commanders, Afghanistan wants Pakistan to extradite.
It is worth mentioning here that the US is also demanding Pakistan to hand over Baradar, to it but Islamabad has turned down the request.
The arrest of Mullah Baradar was kept secret for about a week before Islamabad and Washington confirmed the prize catch last week terming it as a ‘big success’ in the fight against terrorism.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik had rejected the White House’ request to hand over Baradar, who is considered second only to Taliban’s supreme commander Mullah Omar, saying Pakistani agencies would first investigate his links with the banned terrorist network, and could hand him over to Afghanistan if the need arises but not to the US.
“First we will see whether they have violated any law.If they have done it, then the law will take its own course against them, but at the most if they have not done anything, then they will go back to the country of origin, not to the US,” Malik had said earlier.
First Published: Friday, February 26, 2010, 19:15