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Thursday December 02, 2021

Mullah Baradar should extradite TTP leaders to Pakistan, says Rehman Malik

August 23, 2021
Mullah Baradar should extradite TTP leaders to Pakistan, says Rehman Malik

ISLAMABAD: Former interior minister Abdul Rehman Malik has hoped that Taliban, particularly Mullah Baradar, will hand over Maulvi Faqir Mohammed, TTP leader Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, Ikram Ullah and other leaders allegedly involved in the assassination of the former prime minister Benazir Bhutto to Pakistan.

In an interview with The News, the former interior minister said, “Pakistan had refused to hand over Mullah Baradar to Afghan government when they sought his extradition in former president Burhanuddin Rabbani’s murder case since no substantial evidence was found against him,” adding that the current fall of Kabul reminds him of his visit to Afghanistan back in March 2012, when he delivered President Zardari’s special letter of goodwill to former Afghan president Hamid Karzai and full support was extended to him. Later on, things took a sharp turn and Indian influence in Afghanistan started to pick up.

He recalled that it was the time when Pakistan had detained Mullah Baradar and Afghan authorities approached him to hand him (Mullah Baradar) over to them, adding, “The same request was made by Afghan interior minister Hanif Atmar during his visit to Pakistan.”

He asserted that Pakistan turned down all such requests as the country was not receiving any cooperation from Afghanistan during that period, adding, “The terrorist activities in Balochistan had increased manifold from the Afghan soil while the-then Afghan government was not cooperating with Pakistan to stop it.”

Rehman Malik revealed that Pakistan had credible intelligence with solid evidences that India was using the Afghan soil for training the Baloch militants and launching terrorist attacks in Balochistan, adding, “To raise the matter with Afghan authorities, former prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, then DG ISI Gen Zaheer Ul Islam, and I proceeded to Kabul for a day visit, where we met then Afghan President Karzai and intimated him about the five Indian terrorist training camps harboured by Afghan NDS.”

“As expected, President Karzai denied the accusation with a wry smile, but when I furnished all the audio and visual evidences, then it was hard for him to outright reject it,” he added. The former interior minister quoted President Kazrai to have said that it was not in his domain to dismantle terrorist camps in Afghanistan and asked Pakistan to either talk to the Americans or hand over Mullah Baradar to them so that they will talk to the Americans on Pakistan’s behalf.

He added, “Karzai wanted to make a quid pro quo deal with us; we give him Mullah Ghani Baradar and he will request from the US on our behalf to dismantle terrorist havens in Afghanistan,” adding that in the meanwhile, Afghan leader Burhanuddin Rabbani was assassinated and Kabul put the onus on Mullah Baradar.

The former interior minister said that he formed an investigating team to investigate the allegations of Burhanuddin Rabbani’s assassination from Mullah Bardar in the light of the intelligence shared by NDS, but no concrete evidence was found against him, adding that Kabul had wanted Mullah Baradar to have been deported for implicating him in Rabbani’s murder case.

“Later, Pakistan allowed a team of 20 investigators from Kabul to come and interrogate Mullah Baradar in the presence of our investigators but he was not found guilty, so Pakistan declined to hand him over to Kabul,” said Rehman Malik, adding that Pakistan had done a lot to bring peace in Afghanistan but the-then Afghan government and Indian RAW kept on sabotaging the peace process.

He said that crucial peace negotiations initiated by the USA through Zalmay Khalilzad entered into the final phase when Washington requested to involve Mullah Baradar to lead the talks, adding, “I was overwhelmed when I saw the video of Anis Haqqani entering the palace along with Taliban leaders in the same drawing room where, once, President Karzai was sitting and pressing us hard to hand over Mullah Baradar.”

He added that after 20 years, Taliban were back in Kabul with a bang as the US fled the scene just like they had made their exit from Vietnam. The former interior minister said that the withdrawal of USA with no exit strategy provided the space to Afghan Taliban led by Mullah Baradar, adding, “Let us see now how women and minorities get their due protection.”