Pakistan To Consider Any Afghan Extradition Request
6 October 2005 -- Pakistan says it will consider any request by Afghanistan to hand over a Taliban spokesman who was arrested on 4 October in the southwestern Baluchistan Province.
Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao says Kabul has not made any request to Islamabad to hand over Abdul Latif Hakimi.
Sherpao's comments today came one day after Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his country will seek Hakimi's extradition.
Hakimi often claimed responsibility for attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan, though his exact ties to the Taliban leadership were unclear.
The complete text of the interview with Pakistani Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, conducted by Radio Free Afghanistan on 6 October.
RFA: Reports say that the Pakistani government will consider extraditing Taliban spokesman Abdul Latif Hakimi [to Afghanistan]. Is this true?
Sherpao: As of now, Thursday, we have not received any request from the Afghan government to extradite Hakimi. When Afghan government asks us to extradite him, we will consider their request.
RFA: [Afghan President] Hamid Karzai said in Paris that his government will ask Pakistan to extradite Hakimi. If they ask for Hakimi, will you extradite him?
Sherpao: He is an Afghan citizen, so we have to consider this.
RFA: In the past, the Afghan government has asked Pakistan to extradite arrested Taliban members, but Pakistan did not honor such requests. Could you comment on this?
Sherpao: We have good relations with Afghanistan. Now we are conducting the investigation. After we finish with this investigation, we will consider extradition -- as I said before, only if Afghanistan asks us to do so.
RFA: Can you tell me when you think this investigation will finish?
Sherpao: I can only say that the investigation is still going on.
RFA: Have you already reached some results from the investigation?
Sherpao: Not yet. The investigation is continuing. We cannot say anything at the moment.
Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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