Pakistan releases top Afghan Taliban commander

Pakistan releases top Afghan Taliban commander
Sat Sep 21, 2013 17:36:59

Pakistan has freed Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, co-founder of the Afghan Taliban, from jail, says a senior official of the Pakistani Interior Ministry.

Mullah Baradar who is one of the four men who founded the Taliban movement in Afghanistan in 1994 and often described as Taliban militants’ former second-in-command was released from a Pakistani prison on Saturday.

“Yes Baradar has been released,” Omar Hamid, a spokesman for the interior ministry said, without providing further details on the circumstances of the release.

On Friday, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said that the release of 45-year-old Baradar, also known as Mullah Baradar, would help peace process in Afghanistan.

“In order to further facilitate the Afghan reconciliation process, the detained Taliban leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, would be released tomorrow,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The Afghan government had requested Baradar’s release in a bid to step up the Afghan peace process and has hailed the move.

“We welcome that this step is being taken,” Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman Aimal Faizi said. “We believe this will help the Afghan peace process... we are pleased.”

Baradar became a linchpin of the insurgency after the Taliban were toppled by the US-led invasion in 2001.

He was captured in the Pakistani city of Karachi in 2010.


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