Washington: In a major success, a top
militant commander who is said to be second in command to
elusive Taliban chief Mullah Mohhamad Omar was captured from
Pakistan`s port city of Karachi.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was arrested in a secret
joint operation of ISI and CIA operatives. He is also said to
be a close associate of Osama bin Laden before 9/11. He was
captured by a team of US and Pak officials.
The arrest of Baradar, said to be second in command to
Omar, is a major blow to the Taliban and is being described as
a major success to Obama Administration`s war against
terrorism in the Af-Pak region.
"Mullah Baradar has been in Pakistani custody for
several days, with American and Pakistani intelligence
officials both taking part in interrogations, according to the
officials," The New York Times said.
The arrest of Mullah Baradar could lead to arrest of
other Taliban leaders including Omar, US officials hope, the
daily said. Most immediately, they hope he will provide the
whereabouts of Omar, the one-eyed Taliban chief.
The New York Times said it cane to know about the
arrest of Baradar last Thursday, but delayed its reporting at
the request of the White House.
"The Times is publishing the news now because White
House officials acknowledged that the capture of Mullah
Baradar was becoming widely known in the region," it said.
Quoting unnamed official, the daily said Pakistan
was leading the interrogation of Mullah Baradar, but US
officials were also involved.
The conditions of the questioning are unclear, it
reported. "American intelligence officials believe that
elements within Pakistan’s security services have covertly
supported the Taliban with money and logistical help, largely
out of a desire to retain some ally inside Afghanistan for the
inevitable day when the Americans leave," it said.
"The ability of the Taliban’s top leaders to operate
relatively freely inside Pakistan has for years been a source
of friction between the ISI and the CIA.
Americans have complained that they have given ISI
operatives the precise locations of Taliban leaders, but that
the Pakistanis usually refuse to act," The New York Times
According to an Interpol alert, The New York Times
said Mullah Baradar was born in 1968 in Weetmak village, in
Afghanistan’s Oruzgan Province.
"Terrorism experts describe him as a skilled military
leader who runs many high-level meetings of the Taliban’s top
commanders in Afghanistan," it said.