Afghanistan says no to Maulvi Faqir's extraditionBy S. Mudassir Ali Shah Feb 22, 2013 - 12:06
KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan on Friday declined handing over a dreaded Taliban commander to the Pakistan government, arguing that there was no extradition treaty between the neighbouring countries.
On Thursday, Islamabad said it had asked Kabul to extradite Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, who was involved in terrorist activities inside Pakistan. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar asked for the insurgent commander’s handover during a telephonic conversation with her Afghan counterpart Zalmai Rassoul.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office told a weekly media briefing Islamabad hoped that all those involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan would be detained and extradited by the Afghan government.
The rebel leader was arrested five days ago along with four associates near the Pakistan border in the Basawal area of the Momand Dara district in eastern Nangarhar province. He is said to be under investigation at an NDS detention centre in Kabul.
“We hope he (Faqir) would be handed over to Pakistan as soon as possible because he has the blood of many innocent Pakistanis on his hands,” Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan told journalists in Islamabad.
But his Afghan counterpart Janan Musazai, when approached for his comments by Pajhwok Afghan News, turned down Islamabad’s request.
"During the recent tripartite meeting in London, the Afghan government requested the Pakistani side to return Afghan Taliban prisoners held by it so that they could participate in and support Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation efforts,” he said.
Musazai recalled Pakistan responded that it could not hand over Taliban prisoners to the Afghan government because there was no prisoner exchange agreement between the two countries.
“The Afghan government still believes the return of Taliban prisoners is in the best interest of a meaningful Afghan peace process, and the Afghan government is prepared to discuss this with Pakistan," he concluded.