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Analysts fault Pakistan's deal-driven decisions

Analysts fault Pakistan's deal-driven decisions

Jan 20, 2013 - 00:53

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Pakistaninfo-icon has agreed to the release of all Afghan Talibaninfo-icon militants in its custody "in return for money" from the US, some Kabul-based political commentators alleged on Saturday.

Pakistan plans to release all Taliban prisoners still in its detention, including the group’s former second-in-command, Mullahinfo-icon Abdul Ghani Baradar, Pakistan’s foreign secretary told a news conference in Abu Dhabi on Friday.'“The remaining detainees are coordinating, and they will be released subsequently,” Jalil Abbas Jilani said.

Asked if the former Taliban number-2 would be among those to be released, he said: “The aim is to release all,” without elaborating further.

"It seems to be a deal that involves money. Pakistan had detained and handed over Taliban militants to the Americans in the past in return for money and now is playing the same game, but this time in a diplomatic way," political analyst Mohammad Yunus Fakor said of Jilani's statement.

Fakor said Pakistan had agreed to the release of those Taliban once it refused to give in custody of the Afghan government, citing fear they could be transferred to the US control. He said the detainees included those who appeared interested in a negotiated peace with the Karzai administration.

The capture of Baradar, the second in command after the group's overall leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, was a joint US-Pakistani operation triggered by intelligence provided by the Americans.

Mohammad Hassan Haqyar, another political observer, also suspected financial benefits behind the possible release of all Afghan Taliban by Pakistan, saying their detention had come through such deals.

"Pakistan aims to appease the US to have its financial support. It arrests and releases Taliban as a US demand," he said, claiming the US could no longer continue with the war that it had begun with Pakistan's support

"Now the Americans are trying to get Pakistan more involved to find a face-saving solution to the Afghan conflict," Haqyar said.

"Pakistan will release detained Taliban without affected its influence and control over them," said Faiz Mohammad Zaland, yet another political commentator.

He said the Taliban detainees, if released, would continue to be monitored by Pakistan until they were replaced with 'disobedient' commanders on the battlefield.



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