News / Asia

Pakistan to Seek Interpol Help in Extraditing Taliban Commander

Sharon Behn
— Pakistan says it will seek international help in extraditing a Pakistani Taliban commander held in Afghanistan. Pakistan's interior minister is appealing to the international police organization Interpol to ask Afghanistan to hand over senior Taliban commander Maulvi Faqir Mohammad. Faqir Mohammad, who was once the Pakistani Taliban's second in command, was captured earlier this week by Afghan security officials in eastern Afghanistan.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik says he is referring this matter to Interpol, so through Interpol we can convince Afghanistan that Faqir Mohammad has the blood of so many Pakistanis on his hands and he is involved in a number of crimes, to deport him, as he should be tried in Pakistan under local laws.

The Afghan government, so far, has declined to hand over the militant leader.

Faqir Mohammad in 2010 was the second in command of Pakistan's Taliban, and is believed to be behind a number of deadly attacks in Pakistan. He reportedly fell out of favor within the militant network when he suggested talks with the government, and took refuge in neighboring Afghanistan.

But the Pakistani Taliban recently has offered to sit down with the government to discuss an end to the violence that has afflicted the country for almost a decade.

Islamabad government officials have yet to accept, or reject, the Tehrik-e-Taliban's offer of peace talks.

Malik says the Taliban first should prove its desire for peace by laying down its weapons.

"The Taliban will have to demonstrate how serious it is about these talks, such as announcing a negotiating team. It would be good if they denounce terrorism.  If [leaders] Hakimullah Mehsud and Waliur Rehman surrender, we will give them amnesty according to law," he said.

Repeated military operations have failed to completely uproot the militants from their bases in tribal areas along the Afghan border.

Security analyst Ayesha Siddiqa says Pakistan's insistence that Afghanistan hand over Faqir Mohammad could have more to do with trying to bring more radical members of the Taliban to the table.

"He was one of those bad Taliban who had apparently turned mild or favorable toward the Pakistani state. Now, if you are asking for him from the Afghan government, it's either you are building his credibility or need him to talk to the other bad Taliban, and is therefore critical," he said.

Malik's high profile push for the Taliban commander comes as the government is about to face national elections.

Opposition parties have put pressure on the government to consider the Taliban outreach. Past peace deals with Taliban factions drew international criticism for eroding rights in Taliban-held areas and not delivering sustainable peace.

You May Like

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid