LHC asks ministry to submit report on Taliban leaders' arrest

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khwaja Mohammad Sharif issued the directive in response to a petition filed by Khalid Khwaja, a former ISI official who now heads a rights group.

Khwaja had asked the court to direct authorities to deal with the Taliban leaders according to Pakistani laws.

During today's proceedings, the government's lawyer informed the court that the Interior Ministry had nothing to do with the reported apprehension of the Taliban leaders.
The Chief Justice then issued a notice to the Defence Ministry to submit a report on the issue by April 12.

The High Court had earlier directed authorities not to hand over the arrested militant leaders, including top Afghan Taliban commander Mullah Baradar, to any other country.
It had also sought a detailed response from the Interior Ministry.      Khwaja's counsel Tariq Asad told the court that extraditing the Afghan-Taliban leaders to any foreign country would be against laws of Pakistan.

He said they should be interrogated only by Pakistani intelligence agencies.      Besides Baradar, Pakistani law enforcement agencies have reportedly arrested Afghan Taliban leaders like Mullah Abdul Salam, Maulvi Abdul Kabir, Mullah Mir Muhammad, Ameer Muawiyia, Syed Tayyab Agha and Hakeemuddin Mehsud.

However, the army has only confirmed the arrest of Baradar.      During a recent visit to Islamabad, Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded that Baradar and other Taliban should be handed over to his country.

He also expressed doubts about Pakistan’s motives for arresting the commanders.      Karzai's aides have hinted that the arrest of the militant leaders in Pakistan can "sabotage" peace talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan.      Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said the Pakistan government will respond to Karzai's demand after consulting legal experts.

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