NDS ready to hand over Daesh leader to Pakistan for 2 Taliban leaders

National Directorate of Security (NDS) Chief Ahmad Zia Saraj said Tuesday that the Afghan government is ready to exchange Pakistani prisoner Abdullah Orakzai, leader of the Khorasan branch of the Islamic State (IS-K), locally known as Daesh, for two Taliban leaders in Pakistan’s custody.

The NDS forces arrested Abdullah Orakzai aka Aslam Farooqi, the IS-K leader, along with 19 of his men, including two key leaders of the group in an operation in 2019.

“Abdullah Orakzai aka Aslam Farooqi comes from Akhondzadgan village of Orakzai agency, Pakistan. He has previously worked as the military head of the group in Peshawar, commander of Daesh in Abdulkhil valley of Achin district, Nangarhar, and Daesh chief of operations in Khaiber agency. After Abu Saeed Bajawari was killed, he took over as Daesh shadow governor for Afghanistan,” the NDS said in a statement.

“He has had close ties with other terrorist networks such as, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Haqqani – the ties that have now grown deeper into various levels of Daesh’s Khurasan faction,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, NDS Chief stated: “We will hand over Aslam Farooqi to Pakistan only if the country hands us over two leaders of the Taliban group.”

Zia Saraj said that the Afghan forces have arrested 408 Daesh militants – including 173 women and children – in the past few years.

He added that the militants are nationals of 14 countries of which 299 are Pakistani, 37 are Uzbeks, 13 from Tajikistan, 12 from Kyrgyzstan, five from Jordan, five Indonesian, four Iranian, four Indian, three Turkish, two Bangladeshi, two Malaysian, and one Algerian.