Faqir arrest not confirmed so far: envoy
KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan’s embassy in Islamabad on Wednesday said the Kabul government had not yet confirmed the man Afghan forces had arrested in eastern Nangarhar province was Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, pending to an investigation.
Last week, Kabul refused to hand over the detained militant, believed to be Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, who Afghan intelligence and police captured on Monday in an area near the Pakistani border.
Pakistan urged Afghanistan to hand him over, with Interior Minister Rehman Malik later saying Islamabad would soon contact the Interpol for the handover of Faqir.
Press Attaché at the Afghanistan embassy in Islamabad, Zardasht Shams, told Pajhwok Afghan News Afghan security officials were interrogating the man they believed to be Faqir Mohammad, but his identity remained unclear.
Shams quoted Ambassador Mohammad Omar Daudzai as telling reporters a day earlier that Afghanistan could not officially confirm it had arrested Faqir. The man believed to be the Pakistani Taliban leader is currently being interrogated.
About his handover to Pakistan, Daudzai said the two countries had no extradition treaty.
Faqir led the Taliban in the Bajaur tribal region for a long time and reportedly has links with Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri.
Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul officially conveyed the information about Maulvi Faqir’s arrest to his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar in a telephonic conversation a week ago.
Pakistan hailed the arrest, describing it as an indication of improved trust and increased counter-terrorism cooperation between the neighbours.
"We cannot officially confirm that Faqir Mohammad is the man arrested," Daudzai said, lamenting Pakistan had turned down many Afghan requests for the handover of Afghan Taliban prisoners.
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