In a major catch, a militant considered the second-in-command of elusive Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar was arrested in Karachi during a secret joint operation by Pakistani and American intelligence sleuths.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was captured in Karachi last week and is now being interrogated by Pakistani and U.S. officials, Dawn News channel quoted sources in Pakistan’s interior ministry as saying.
Pakistani officials’ remarks on Baradar’s arrest came after his capture was reported by The New York Times.
The arrest came after Pakistani authorities received a tip-off from US intelligence agencies that Baradar had been in Karachi for the past few weeks. The militant put up no resistance during his arrest, sources were quoted as saying.
However, the Taliban denied reports of his arrest. A spokesman said Baradar was still in Afghanistan and involved in organising the group’s military and political activities.
US officials said Baradar was the “most significant Taliban figure to be detained since the war in Afghanistan started eight years ago”, NYT reported.
His capture could cripple the Taliban’s military operations, said Bruce O. Riedel, a CIA veteran.