The Lahore High Court on Friday issued an emergency order blocking the handover of five arrested Taliban to United States or Afghanistan. The court issued the order after a petition filed by Khalid Khwaja of Defence of Human Rights stating that the arrested Afghan Taliban Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar, Mulla Abdus Salam, Mulla Kabir, Mulla Mohammed and Amir Muaaviya were being handed over to the Americans. The judges have invited the government to submit its arguments on March 15.
Only a day before the High court decision, the Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s office had said Mullah Baradar would be repatriated to Afghanistan. Different interpretations of the capture of Baradar, reputed to be Afghan Taliban’s deputy leader, and others are in circulation. One is that these are honest captures, another that those arrested are Taliban ‘negotiators’ in reality and attempts will now be made to reach a deal with the Taliban while they are in custody. While the Pakistani government can file an appeal against the High Court ruling in the Supreme Court, there is no sign that it will do so, at least in the immediate future.
The Real News anchor Paul Jay talks to Mohammad Jubaid, a Pakistani researcher, to gain an understanding.