Islamabad: The Afghan Taliban's No 2 leader, who was picked up as part of a recent crackdown on insurgents in Pakistan, will be handed over to Afghanistan, an Afghan government official said on Wednesday.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is one of at least three Afghan Taliban commanders who have been captured in recent weeks in Pakistan where militants have also sustained blows from suspected US missile strikes, including four killed on Wednesday in an al Qaeda and Taliban stronghold in northwest Pakistan, intelligence officials said.
Pakistan has agreed to transfer Baradar to Afghan custody, according to Zemeri Bashary, a spokesman for Afghan Interior Minister Hanif Atmar, who was in Islamabad meeting with FBI and Pakistani officials.
"Pakistan has agreed to hand Mullah Baradar over, but there is going to be consultations with judicial authorities," he said.
Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Islamabad was expecting a formal request from the Afghan government to hand over Baradar, which could allow the US officials to conduct their own interrogation of him.
Baradar was captured in a joint Pakistani-US operation in the southern city of Karachi early this month, and has given some useful information to Pakistani interrogators, Pakistani officials have said.
First Published: Thursday, February 25, 2010, 08:49