Malik snubs US, says deputy Taliban leader will not be handed over

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Islamabad, Feb.20 (ANI): Pakistan has made it clear that it will not deport the Afghan Taliban's second-in command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, and two other top extremist commanders, who were nabbed this month, to the US.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Pakistani agencies would first investigate Baradar's links with the banned terrorist network, and could hand him over to Afghanistan if the need arises but not to the US.

"First we will see whether they have violated any law.If they have done it, then the law will take its own course against them, but at the most if they have not done anything, then they will go back to the country of origin, not to the US," Malik told a foreign news agency.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had described Baradar's arrest as important and rejected suggestions that Islamabad was not cooperating with Washington against militants.

Baradar was apprehended in a secret joint operation by Pakistani and American intelligence forces in Karachi, and has been in Pakistani custody since.

Baradar has been billed as second only to Taliban founder Mohammad Omar and officials have said that his capture is a major blow to the militia, which is fighting to bring down a Western-backed government in Afghanistan. (ANI)

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