Lahore, Sept 8(ANI): Pakistan has ruled out the possibility of handing over captured Al Qaeda leader Younis Al Mauritani to American or NATO forces, a Pakistani newspaper has said.
Mauritani, mainly responsible for planning and conduct of Al Qaeda's international operations, was nabbed along with two other senior Al Qaeda operatives, Abdul Ghaffar Al Shami (Bachar Chama) and Messara Al Shami (Mujahid Amino) from suburbs of Quetta.
Islamabad came to know through media reports that the Americans wanted to grill the arrested suspects, The Nation quoted a senior intelligence officer, as saying during background discussion, on the condition of anonymity since he was not authorised to discuss sensitive security matters.
'This is out of question', the intelligence officer said, when asked whether Pakistan would hand over the big fish to the Americans.
On being asked whether Islamabad would allow US investigators to grill the arrested al Qaeda operatives, the officer said: "The authorities at the highest level will consider their (Americans) request once they formally contact the concerned power corridors."
However, Foreign Ministry sources were quoted as saying by the paper that Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives were likely to be allowed to interrogate the arrested trio.
'Both the countries have developed a proper intelligence sharing formula to counter global terror and joint investigations could be more fruitful as far as security of both the States is concerned', the officer said.
"When US needs us, we should offer cooperation with dignity," the paper quoted a Pakistani defence expert, as saying.
According to the paper, the sources also claimed that a top US official from Washington is likely to visit Pakistan next week to hold talks with high-ups in Islamabad. (ANI)