MPs blast Mehsud’s handover to Pakistan
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some Wolesi Jirga members on Monday criticised the transfer of three terror suspects, including a top militant commander, to Pakistan and sought explanation from Afghan security organs.
The United States Forces – Afghanistan (USFOR-A) on Sunday confirmed handing over the three terror suspects to Pakistan in accordance with the US government’s decision.
“The government of Afghanistan was not involved in this transfer,” said a statement from USFOR-A, which conducts a thorough case-by-case review to ensure every detainee is safely transferred in compliance with US and applicable international humanitarian law.
According to Pakistani media, former Taliban chief Latif Mehsud, who had been in US custody for some time, was transferred along with a broker and two security guards.
Wolesi Jirga member from western Ghor province, Syed Nadir Shah Bahr, told the session: “The transfer of Latif Mehsud has raised many questions. It should be explained why Pakistan has been given a unilateral privilege?”
His colleague from northern Sar-i-Pul province, Mohammad Hassan Balkhabi, said the US should perform such acts in coordination with the Afghan government because unilateral actions could dent trust between Afghan and American forces.
“We are witness to the fact that the US gives preference to Pakistan over Afghanistan in many matters because Pakistan is its old friend. The US does not want to lose that old friend easily,” believed the lawmaker.
Gul Bacha Majidi from southeastern Paktika province claimed the US had always entered secret deals with Pakistan and the transfer of Latif Mehsud was one such deal.
“The US and Pakistan have been pursuing a dual-faced policy toward Afghanistan over the past 13 years,” remarked Majidi.
Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi warned the transfer of Mehsud would have a negative impact on the morale of the Afghan security forces, who had arrested the commander under tough circumstances.
The speaker and a number of lawmakers insisted the Afghan security organs should provide essential information to the house about the transfer of Latif Mehsud to Pakistan.
The Pakistani authorities had been demanding the return of the arrested TTP commanders. The other two militants handed over to Pakistan have been identified as Jafar and Aziz.
Last month, Ghani visited Islamabad and held wide-ranging talks with top Pakistani leaders, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif.
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