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17 Feb, 2010 05:21

US claims capture of Taliban second-in-command

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is said to have been arrested in a joint raid by the CIA and Pakistani intelligence agency ten days ago in the Pakistani city of Karachi.

Baradar is the Taliban's number two behind Afghan Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar. It is believed he is also a close associate of Osama bin Laden.

The head of a pro-Taliban political party Maulvi Noor Muhammad said on Tuesday that it did not matter if a senior Taliban commander is captured or killed, as a replacement would quickly be appointed.

Ali Mehr, a political analyst in Islamabad, doubts the capture:

“This happened earlier, Americans were not aware of the identities of most of the Taliban commanders and leaders. They captured a lot of Afghans and announced they are the famous Taliban leaders and later they learnt there’s some resemblance in the names. So the Pakistani side is quiet and they are not confirming this information.”

Marc Thiessen, a speechwriter for George W. Bush, said he does not believe the US wants to interrogate the militant leader and would instead prefer to have someone else do the job.

He explained that “We have shut down the CIA interrogation sites, we are not taking anybody new into Guantanamo Bay, so there is no policy for interrogation and there is no place to put them.”

“Keep in mind that the Human Rights State Department report says that Pakistan tortures people. It is very clear that tortures are taking place in Pakistan. President Obama has said that he eliminated torture. We have guidelines what can and what cannot be done. The Pakistani do not follow those kinds of guidelines,” Thiessen outlined.

“So on one hand President Obama is saying ‘we have eliminated torture’ but what he is really doing is just outsourcing tough cases to countries like Pakistan that do not have those kinds of restrictions,” he concluded.

Read also – Blowback: Legacy of the CIA in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan