Pak court urged to bar handing over of Taliban leaders to US
Lahore: An ISI official-turned rights activist on Friday filed an application in a Pakistani court to bar authorities from handing over 10 top Taliban leaders, including Mullah Baradar, to the US or Afghanistan.
Apart from capturing Mullah Baradar, the deputy of elusive Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar, Pakistani law enforcement agencies have arrested several top commanders of outfit, including Mullah Abdul Salam, Mullah Abdul Kabir, Mullah Mir Muhammad, Ameer Muawiyia, Syed Tayyab Agha and Hakeemuddin Mehsud, in Karachi and other parts of the country recently.
Khalid Khawaja filed the petition in the Lahore High Court, requesting it to bar the government from handing over the arrested Taliban leaders to any country.
Acting on another petition filed recently by Khwaja, the High Court had barred authorities from extraditing or deporting Baradar and four other Taliban commanders.
Baradar and the other detained Taliban leaders are being interrogated by Pakistani intelligence agencies.
Reports have suggested that the CIA wants Baradar and the other commanders to be transferred to a prison near Kabul for interrogation as they are believed to have extensive knowledge of the Taliban network's operations and finances. "Since Baradar and some other Taliban leaders are Afghan nationals, it is logical that their home country might be considered as an ultimate destination," a US official was quoted as saying.
However, Khwaja said in his petition that extraditing the accused to any foreign country would be against the laws of Pakistan.
"It is, therefore, humbly prayed that the court restrains the respondents from handing over/extraditing the accused to any foreign country and directs further that they may be interrogated only by the intelligence agencies of Pakistan," he said in his petition.