Pakistan to release senior Afghan Taliban prisoner
AFPISLAMABAD--Pakistan will release its most senior Afghan Taliban detainee, Abdul Ghani Baradar, a former military chief often described as the insurgents' ex-second in command, officials said Tuesday.
September 11, 2013, 12:11 am TWN
The Afghan government has long demanded that Islamabad free Baradar, whose arrest in January 2010 saw Pakistan accused of sabotaging initiatives to bring peace to war-torn Afghanistan.
He was arrested in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi, reportedly in a secret raid by CIA and Pakistani agents, an operation that was described as a huge blow to the group.
His release would bring to 34 the number of Taliban detainees that Pakistan has released since last year, in a move which Afghan officials hope can encourage peace talks with the insurgents.
“Pakistan has decided in principle to release Mullah Baradar,” Sartaj Aziz, advisor to the prime minister on national security and foreign affairs, told AFP.
Aziz said Baradar would not be handed over to the government in Afghanistan, but was “likely to be released this month.”