Pakistan releases Afghan Taliban’s No 2 from jail

 File picture of Taliban’s No 2 Mullah Baradar.
File picture of Taliban’s No 2 Mullah Baradar.

In a significant development aimed at facilitating Afghanistan government-Taliban dialogue process, Pakistan has released Afghanistan Taliban’s No 2 Mullah Baradar from jail on Saturday.

Islamabad, Sept 21/Nationalturk – Pakistan has released  Afghanistan Taliban’s No 2 Mullah Baradar from jail Saturday to facilitate Afghanistan government-Taliban dialogue process.

According to Pakistan newspaper, Express Tribune Baradar was released Saturday morning.

Earlier, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry had said yesterday that  in order to further facilitate Afghan reconciliation process, the detained Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar would be released on Saturday.

He said Baradar would be released from prison in Pakistan to further facilitate the Afghan reconciliation process.

Baradar was arrested in port city of Karachi in 2010

Pakistan had detained Baradar from Pakistan’s port city of Karachi in 2010. At the time of his arrest, Baradar was reported to have been the Taliban’s second-in-command and close to Taliban chief Mullah Omar.

Pakistan officials, pleading anonymity, said Baradar would not be handed over to Afghanistan officials after his release. “He would stay in Karachi till the time he is handed over to Saudi Arabia or Turkey for facilitation of Afghanistan government-Taliban talks”.

They said Baradar’s release was meant to send a clear message to a West and Karzai administration that Pakistan was sincere in facilitating reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

Earlier, last week Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had told media persons that Pakistan had in principle decided to free Mullah Baradar.

His release will help peace process: Afghan govt

Meanwhile, spokesman of Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai Aimal Faizi welcomed the proposed release of Taliban No 2. “We hope it would help peace efforts after 12 years of war. We welcome his release”.

He said they had been demanding release of Baradar from Pakistan prison for a long time. “It was on the agenda when President Karzai visited Pakistan last month”.

Pakistan has so far freed 33 Afghan Taliban detainees but Mullah Baradar would be the most senior figure to be released by the country.

Born in 1968 in the southern province of Uruzgan, Mullah Baradar fought the occupying Soviet forces in the late 1980s  before becoming one of the founding members of the Taliban movement.  Baradar is one of the four men, who founded Afghan Taliban, and was the day-to-day commander responsible for leading the Taliban campaign against the foreign troops until his capture in 2010 from Pakistan’s port city of Karachi.

When the Taliban took over Kabul in 1996 after years of civil war, Baradar was a trusted friend of Mullah Omar and rose to become the movement’s top military strategist.

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Faiz Ahmad / NationalTurk Pakistan News

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