US want Pak to shift Barader to Bagram air base prison
Last Updated: Sunday, February 21, 2010, 20:47
Karachi: The US is pushing for the transfer of captured Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar to an America-run prison in Afghanistan, apparently frustrated by his silence during interrogation by Pakistani investigators.

Baradar, the second in command to Taliban leader Mullah Omar, was captured in Pakistan last month but US officials say he has not revealed useful information so far.

Baradar has refused to provide information that could be used against his insurgent network, prompting the CIA to push for his transfer to the US-run Bagram air base prison in Afghanistan, the Dawn news reported.

The proposal reflects US frustration with the interrogation of Baradar, who was taken into custody by Pakistani security agencies working alongside the CIA.

It also points to the Obama administration's dilemma over what to do with the so-called high-value detainees.

"This guy should be able to give out everything from bank account numbers to where training camps are located," said a US government official familiar with Baradar's interrogation.

"He's not doing any of that," reports quoted officials as saying.

The CIA was denied direct access to Baradar for about two weeks and has since worked with Pakistani interrogators, who control the process of questioning.

But officials said they had learnt nothing from Baradar so far that could be used to find other Taliban leaders or help plan US military operations.

Another US official said "Baradar is talking" but said they were concerned about the information's reliability.

"His debriefing could well be an extended affair," he was quoted as saying.

CIA Director Leon E Panetta and other officials have proposed moving Baradar to the US-run prison at the Bagram air base north of Kabul, the Afghan capital.

But officials acknowledged that the prospects for such a transfer were uncertain because of legal and diplomatic obstacles, as well as potential objections from Pakistan.

The CIA declined to comment on the plan. But one of the US officials said: "Baradar's an Afghan, so it's only logical that his home country might be considered as an ultimate destination.


First Published: Sunday, February 21, 2010, 20:47

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