KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- Pakistani authorities arrested a former Afghan provincial governor and close associate of ousted Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar in a border town yesterday, a Pakistani official said.
Mullah Abdul Manan Khawajazai was picked up by Pakistani police and intelligence officers in the southwestern border town of Chaman around noon, said Colonel Basit, head of Pakistani border security in the area, who uses only one name.
He was being held in custody in an unspecified location for security reasons, Basit said.
Afghan authorities praised the arrest, and Afghan Deputy Interior Minister Hilalludin Hillal said they would seek his extradition.
Khalid Pashtun, spokesman for the governor of the southern Afghan region of Kandahar, said Khawajazai had been a close friend of Omar's during the Taliban regime.
But Pashtun said there was no direct evidence linking Khawajazai, who served as governor of Sar-e-Pol and Badghis provinces, to terrorist attacks since the Taliban were driven from power by US-led forces in late 2001.
Pashtun asked Pakistani authorities to take further action against Taliban suspected of hiding in lawless border areas in Pakistan, including Omar.
The US military in Afghanistan had no information on the arrest, said spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Hilferty.