US hands over senior Taliban leader, Latifullah Mehsud, detained in Afghanistan to Pakistan

Published: December 7, 2014
A sketch of Latifullah Mehsud. PHOTO: MOHSIN ALAM

A sketch of Latifullah Mehsud. PHOTO: MOHSIN ALAM

A sketch of Latifullah Mehsud. PHOTO: MOHSIN ALAM PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The United States handed over a senior Tehrrek-e-Taliban Pakistan leader, Latifullah Mehsud to Pakistan, US officials said on Sunday, hours after Pakistani official sources confirmed the hand over of the key Taliban commander.

Latifullah had served as the deputy of the TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsood until his arrest last year.

Hakimullah, who was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan in November last year, had appointed Latifullah as his deputy after replaced Khan Said alias Sajna from the position.

“We can confirm that the United States repatriated three Pakistanis held in US custody in Afghanistan following consultations between the United Sates and Pakistan and after receiving appropriate assurances regarding humane treatment,” the US Embassy spokesperson said.

“We cannot comment on the identity of the detainees,” the embassy spokesperson added.

Official sources earlier said that Afghanistan had handed over Latifullah and two other TTP men to Pakistan on Saturday.

Afghan presidential spokesperson, Nazeefullah Salarzai, said in Kabul that Latifullah Mehsood was in the custody of the Afghan government and that they are unaware of his handover.

Last year in October, Afghan authorities stated that the US military snatched the Taliban leader from Afghan intelligence agents. Latifullah was believed to be in contact with the Afghan intelligence.

The State Department had later confirmed that the US had captured Latifullah after Afghan officials claimed he had been seized as he drove in a government convoy in eastern Afghanistan.

The Washington Post had quoted then Afghan president Hamid Karza’s spokesperson as saying,”The Americans forcibly removed him (Latifullah) and took him to Bagram.”

Meanwhile, Afghans hailed the reported handover of Latifullah Mehsood.

“It is a big breakthrough,” a former Afghan diplomat Zardasht Shams said Sunday.

Further, Afghan media says that the US has increased attacks on the suspected hideouts of TTP militants on the Afghan side of the border in recent days. In a latest strike, the US spy aircraft killed at least nine Pakistani militants in Kunar province.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Khan
    Dec 7, 2014 - 6:16PM

    “after receiving appropriate assurances regarding humane treatment”….

    So it’s again American lecturing about Humanity……maybe it’s just a whitewash effort to brush the reality (of Afhan, Iraq, Guantanamo, Vietnam, World wars) for time being until it is required out of necessity.


  • Moiz Omar
    Dec 7, 2014 - 6:39PM

    Great. Now they should be put to death. That is the only thing these TTP terrorists deserve.


  • Moiz Omar
    Dec 7, 2014 - 6:41PM

    They deserve significant punishment.


  • king
    Dec 7, 2014 - 7:57PM

    humane treatment :D :D ..we will take good care of them


  • It's (still) Economy Stupid
    Dec 7, 2014 - 9:14PM

    Echo from weekly briefing of Foreign Office: Dossier submitted by US is not worth the paper it is written on. We need more proof. We deny that he is in our custody.

    Six years later : A delegation will visit Afghanistan to collect more evidence. On his arrival in court lawyers in black coat showered him with rose petals


  • Ahmad
    Dec 7, 2014 - 9:18PM

    The first thing Latifullah Mehsud needs is a massive haircut !!!


  • syed baqar ahsan
    Dec 7, 2014 - 9:20PM

    A fresh trouble has arrived like baghdadi of ISIS because USA don’t send anybody without moulding into own requirement and there is long in the past who ruined this country.


  • Whiskey Khan
    Dec 7, 2014 - 9:22PM

    This is the kind of cooperation that is truly needed to bring safety and stability to the region. Deradicalizing the vast majority of people and educating the masses to start moving forward with the time without compromising their rebellious beliefs. ” Naya Pakistan” is in order.


  • Denounce Torture
    Dec 7, 2014 - 10:29PM

    Denounce torture.


  • Imran Qadri
    Dec 7, 2014 - 10:37PM

    Humane treatment,just like the one meted out to them by Americans in Abu Ghraib prison,Iraq, Guantanamo Bay prison and other CIA black sites operated around the world.


  • Na
    Dec 8, 2014 - 2:50AM

    after receiving appropriate assurances regarding humane treatment,” the US Embassy spokesperson said.

    Ha ha humane treatment. Yeah, right!


  • Ahmed Ali Khan
    Dec 8, 2014 - 4:11AM

    @Moiz Omar:

    Good advise but the court will let him free on bail. our judiciary has not punished one
    single terrorist. How can we expect they will punished this guy.


  • Shuaib
    Dec 8, 2014 - 4:52AM

    At first I thought he sgould be given the death penalty. Now I think we should extract all the posdible information then try him in court. If he loses, he should be given death penalty.


  • Virkaul
    Dec 8, 2014 - 9:10AM

    @Moiz Omar:
    Why only TTP should be put to death, why not the Haqqanis?Recommend

  • goldconsumer
    Dec 8, 2014 - 9:45AM

    For what? We wont be giving him death penalty for sure since we are always more interested in selling towels. Inside Pakistani security he has a better chance of escaping than in Bagram.
    There is a lot of grey area as to why he was in contact with Afghan intelligence. It seems US has prioritized to go against Karzai’s “good” Taliban after all.


  • Khan Can
    Dec 8, 2014 - 9:45AM

    He is welcome to join PTI.


  • B
    Dec 8, 2014 - 1:12PM

    Will wait for three months to see if ISPR releases a statement that his outfit was supported by Indis


  • B
    Dec 8, 2014 - 1:16PM

    Will wait for three months to see if ISPR releases a statement that his outfit was supported by IndisRecommend

  • goldconsumer
    Dec 8, 2014 - 2:00PM

    @Ahmed Ali Khan:
    There are more than 400 persons who have been given the death penalty. But it is on hold since we want to sell our towels first to the EU. That is more important for our government!


    Dec 8, 2014 - 8:56PM

    We can clearly see that the U.S., Pakistan and Afghanistan are cooperating and coordinating in regards to our common objectives in the region. This should erase the doubts of those who continue to support conspiracy theories and indulge in the blame game. The transfer of a senior Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan leader, Latifullah Mehsud, signifies the importance of team work between our nations. We have been able to capture and kill some of the top terrorist leaders through each other’s assistance. It is quite apparent at the moment that the U.S., Pakistan and Afghanistan are addressing their shared concerns and working together for the betterment of the region.

    Ali Khan
    Digital Engagement Team, USCENTCOM


  • Moiz Omar
    Dec 8, 2014 - 9:27PM

    I never said they don’t either.


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