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Pak May Extradite Mullah Baradar To Afghanistan

Pakistan has indicated it may extradite Mullah Baradar and other top Afghan militant commanders to Afghanistan as part of its efforts to help President Hamid Karzai reach a negotiated settlement with the Taliban, according to
pak may extradite mullah baradar to afghanistan -...
PTI June 30, 2010 17:21 IST

Pakistan has indicated it may extradite Mullah Baradar and other top Afghan militant commanders to Afghanistan as part of its efforts to help President Hamid Karzai reach a negotiated settlement with the Taliban, according to a media report today.

"We are working with Afghanistan's government to come up with a mutually acceptable arrangement for Mullah Baradar's extradition," a security official was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.

Afghanistan recently made a renewed call for the extradition of Baradar and other Taliban commanders detained in Pakistan earlier this year. 

Though Pakistan has cold-shouldered such extradition requests from Kabul in the past, it is expected to positively respond to the fresh plea because of an "assured role in the possible endgame in the Afghan imbroglio and narrowing of bilateral mistrust following changes in Afghanistan's intelligence set-up and interior ministry", the report said. 

There is also no legal hurdle in Baradar's extradition as of now. A challenge to his extradition was thrown out by the Lahore High Court in May.
The planned extradition could form part of efforts by Pakistan to help the Afghan government broker a peace deal with insurgents, an official said. 

 Karzai's spokesman Hamid Elmi referred to the matter in a radio interview and the interior ministers of the two countries have held talks on the issue. 

 "They are ready to solve this issue and hand (Baradar) over to Afghanistan," Elmi said. 

 Baradar, the number two man in the Afghan Taliban, was nabbed during a joint operation by Pakistani and American intelligence operatives in Karachi in February. 

His arrest was described as a major coup in counter-insurgency collaboration by the two sides.

 Afghanistan had sharply reacted to the arrest, saying it could scuttle Karzai's efforts for peace talks with Taliban.

Analysts believe that Baradar, on being extradited to Afghanistan, might facilitate the Karzai government's efforts to reach out to "reconcilable Taliban leaders" because of his extensive contacts in the militant network.

They said the extraditions will be consistent with the Pakistan government's policy of ensuring that the reconciliation process was "Afghan-led" and in accordance with the aspirations of Afghanistan's government and people. 

After a grand jirga in Kabul endorsed Karzai's plans for peace talks with Taliban factions, Pakistan has intensified its efforts to encourage Afghan militant leaders to make peace.

Pakistan is also involved in facilitating contacts between the Afghan government and the Haqqani militant network based in North Waziristan. PTI  

 

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