Taliban No 2 walks out of Pakistani custody
The Taliban’s second in command had been detained in 2011 the port city of Karachi in a secret raid by CIA and Pakistani agents during an operation that was called a huge blow to the insurgent group.
In response to President Hamid Karzai’s request, the Pakistani government freed him today, a Pakistani TV channel reported. His arrest had led Kabul to accuse Islamabad of sabotaging its peace initiatives.
Express News said President Hamid Karzai, eager to see him out of Pakistani custody, was confident that Baradar’s release would go a long way in bringing the insurgents to the negotiating table.
A close aide to Taliban's reclusive leader Mullah Omar, Baradar would have complete freedom of momvement and could meet anyone he wanted to, the TV channel reported.
Since November 2012, Pakistan has set free 33 have been freed so far. None of them, however, has joined the peace drive. But 45-year-old could be a game changer for the peace campaign.
In an effort to facilitate the reconciliation process, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was being released, the Foreign Office in Islamabad said in a statement late on Friday.
The announcement came hard on the heels of a meeting among Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI Director General Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The decision to free Mullah Baradar was endorsed at the high-level meeting, a diplomatic source confirmed to Pajhwok Afghan New. The move was aimed to reinforce Islamabad’s sincerity in facilitating the Afghan-led peace bid.
Last week, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan had decided in principle to free Baradar. But he explained the Taliban’s second in command would not be handed over to Afghan authorities.
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