FBI asks for access to Baradar -- sources

Feb. 24, 2010 at 10:46 AM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. officials asked Islamabad for permission Wednesday to interrogate captured Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, sources said.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik met Wednesday with U.S. and Afghan officials to discuss a trilateral mechanism for intelligence sharing, Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reports.

Dawn adds its sources said U.S. officials with the FBI asked for formal permission to interrogate Baradar, who was captured recently in Karachi.

White House officials confirmed a joint U.S. and Pakistani intelligence raid netted Baradar, one of the highest-ranking Taliban officials captured since 2001. He was allegedly captured in a joint raid in Karachi carried out by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Service and the CIA.

Malik initially described the joint operation as propaganda.

The interior minister stressed the importance of intelligence sharing during his Wednesday meetings with the FBI and Afghan Interior Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar.

His comments echo sentiments from Pakistani generals, who urged their U.S. counterparts to keep them updated on operations in Afghanistan. Islamabad said it was worried military operations in Afghanistan could push militants into Pakistani territory.

Malik stressed that cooperation was vital to regional stability, adding the arrest of Baradar showed Pakistan was committed to counter-terrorism efforts.

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