ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has sought extradition of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah from Afghanistan and dismantlement of the militant outfit’s longstanding hideouts in Kunar and Nooristan provinces, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The request for the extradition of Pakistan’s most wanted man was made by Mahmood Khan Achakzai on behalf of the Prime Minister in a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on Wednesday, said a well-informed government official in Islamabad.
Meanwhile, the foreign office confirmed that Achakzai visited Afghanistan as a special envoy of the Prime Minister to seek Kabul’s cooperation in eliminating terrorism. He was also accompanied by foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry.
When contacted, Achakzai refused to comment on the visit.
But a government official familiar with the development told The Express Tribune that Pakistan had requested Karzai Administration to stop supporting the TTP and seek extradition of its fugitive chief, who is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan.
The official, who asked to remain anonymous, said Pakistan had compelling evidence suggesting that Mullah Fazlullah and other TTP commanders were enjoying ‘patronage’ of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency.
“Afghanistan’s support is very crucial for the success of operation in North Waziristan. They need to dismantle TTP’s sanctuaries on their soil. They must stop supporting Fazlullah,” said a security official.
During the weekly briefing at the Foreign office on Thursday, spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told reporters that Afghan authorities had assured their cooperation to Pakistan.
Karzai calls Nawaz
Following Achakzai’s visit to Kabul, Afghan President Hamid Karzai telephoned Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and discussed the anti-terror cooperation between the two countries.
“The Pakistani Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif agreed with all parts of an Afghan that both countries should jointly fight with all terrorists. Safe havens of terrorists should be dismantled and there should be a road-map to coordinate the joint struggle,” a statement from Karzai’s office said.
It was decided that an Afghan delegation would also soon visit Islamabad to carry a special letter from President Karzai that would list some proposals and would also discuss future plans with Pakistani side.
President Karzai also underscored the need to coordinate with the anti-terror war strategy with all key regional players, the statement said, adding: “the Afghan President also called for extra care to avoid civilian casualties during the war on terror.
However, it was not clear whether the Karzai administration was willing to extradite Mullah Fazlullah and destroy TTP hideouts on the Afghan side.
Afghan intelligence agency is believed to be providing refugee to TTP in an effort to use them as a bargaining chip with Pakistan over the issue of Afghan Taliban as well as Haqqani network, which allegedly has safe heavens in Waziristan.
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