US hands Mehsud’s right-hand man to Pakistan



The US military in Afghanistan said on Sunday that a top militant commander and No 2 to former Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, has been handed over to Pakistan along with two other militants. 

The US statement did not identify the detainees. 

However, a Pakistani security official said one of them was Latif Mehsud, a close aide to the former chief of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Hakimullah Mehsud. 

“Acting on behalf of the United States government, we transferred custody of three Pakistanis held in US custody in Afghanistan, to Pakistan,” US Forces-Afghanistan said in a statement in Kabul. 

“This followed after consultations between the US and Pakistan and appropriate assurances,” it added. 

Latif, who was NATO troops’ custody in Afghanistan for some time, was handed over on Saturday along with his two guards and a broker, a local news paper reported citing official sources. 

He was arrested with his aides on Pak-Afghan border by the Afghan National Army when he was crossing the border allegedly to buy weapons. 

The militants were then taken by NATO troops from the Afghan National Army, the report said. 

The other two militants handed over to Pakistan have been identified as Jafar and Aziz. 

The Pakistani authorities had been demanding the return of the arrested TTP commander.