Islamabad asks Kabul to extradite ISIS-K leader

-Expresses concern over rising Covid-19 cases and medical supplies shortage in IoK amid Indian blockade

By Asghar Ali Mubarak

Islamabad: Pakistan has demanded of Afghanistan to hand over ISIS-K leader, Aslam Farooqi, who was arrested by the Afghan authorities on last Saturday.
In a statement, Foreign Office Spokesperson said the Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan was called to the Foreign Office and conveyed Pakistan’s deep concerns over the activities of this group, which are clearly detrimental to security of Pakistan.
The statement underscored that since Aslam Farooqi was involved in anti-Pakistan activities in Afghanistan, he should be handed-over to Pakistan for further investigations.It said that Pakistan’s position in this regard has been regularly shared with the Afghan government and others concerned. It was further underlined that the two sides should coordinate actions against the menace of terrorism, through established mechanisms.
Earlier the head of the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate have been

arrested along with 19 other militants, Afghan interior ministry sources said. Abdullah Orakzai, who goes by Aslam Farooqi, was detained by forces from the National Directorate of Security, the country’s main intelligence agency said in a statement.It was unclear where the arrests took place. Farooqi and the others were detained on Friday, NDS spokesman Haris Jebran told Stars and Stripes. Jebran declined to provide further details.
U.S. airstrikes and raids have targeted the terrorist group’s regional affiliate, known as ISIS-Khorasan Province, since 2016. ISIS had declared the group’s formation early the previous year. Last April, Farooqi replaced the group’s former leader, known by the nom de guerre Abu Omar Khorasani, the United Nations said in a report in July. ISIS reportedly demoted Khorasani over “poor performance” and operational failures in late 2018 in eastern Nangarhar province. Farooqi’s arrest is the latest setback for ISIS-K, which saw roughly 300 of its fighters surrender to government forces in the final months of 2019.
Sustained American airstrikes, security forces operations and fighting between ISIS-K and the Taliban led to the surrenders, the U.S. military said January in a report describing the group’s stronghold in Nangarhar as “dismantled.”
Still, the group continues to claim high-profile attacks throughout the country, such as when gunmen stormed a Sikh temple in Kabul’s old town on March 25, killing over two dozen people.
That attack came less than a week after an ISIS-K fighter fired mortars at Bagram Airfield, the largest American base in the country and a hub for the U.S.-led coalition. The mortars were shot down without causing injuries or damage to the base, coalition and local officials said.
The U.S. military estimates between 2,000 and 2,500 ISIS-K fighters remain active in Afghanistan according to the latest data reported by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui on Thursday expressed concern over the lack of medical supplies and assistance in Indian Occupied Kashmir amid a rise in coronavirus cases.
During her weekly press briefing, the spokesperson said the occupied region has reported 170 confirmed cases and five deaths.
She said voices from within India and the international community have condemned the inhumane treatment being meted out to the people of Kashmir at the hands of the Indian government, adding that six international human rights organisations have demanded the release of all those arrested to contain the spread of the virus.
Condemning the Indian government’s recently introduced domicile law, Farooqui termed the move an attempt to change the demographic structure of the occupied region.