News / Asia

Afghanistan Presses Pakistan for Details on Mullah Baradar

FILE - Police escort a man, identified as Afghan Taliban's top military commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.FILE - Police escort a man, identified as Afghan Taliban's top military commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
x
FILE - Police escort a man, identified as Afghan Taliban's top military commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
FILE - Police escort a man, identified as Afghan Taliban's top military commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
Ayaz Gul
Afghanistan has stepped up demands that Pakistan explain the whereabouts of a former deputy leader of the Taliban who was reported freed recently to encourage Afghan peace and reconciliation efforts. The Kabul government said President Hamid Karzai will raise the issue when he meets Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in London later this week. 

Former Taliban second-in-command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, was allowed to walk out of Pakistan’s custody more than a month ago, with authorities in Islamabad saying the move was aimed at furthering political reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan.

But the Kabul government has been critical and skeptical about the move from the very beginning, and said the insurgent leader remains under the strict supervision of Pakistan's spy agency.

Calls to free Baradar

Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai, speaking at a weekly briefing in Kabul Sunday, urged Pakistan to facilitate direct talks between Afghan peace negotiators and Mullah Baradar.

He called on Pakistani authorities to ensure that the Taliban leader “should be free, accessible and should be in the service of the peace process Afghan people and the state have undertaken.”

A High Peace Council of prominent Afghan personalities and politicians has been making unsuccessful efforts to engage in peace talks with insurgent leaders to end decades of bloodshed in the country. Baradar was said to be reaching out to Kabul with a peace initiative in 2010, and was detained while traveling through Pakistan for a secret meeting.  Skeptics say his prolonged absence from Afghanistan may have undermined his reputation among Taliban fighters.

But Foreign Ministry spokesman Mosazai said Baradar can still inject life into Afghan peace attempts seen crucial for a smooth pullout of most of U.S.-led foreign forces from Afghanistan by the end of next year.

He said that the Afghan government believes Mullah Baradar can play an important role in the peace process provided he is completely free, and has a certain address where members of the High Peace Council can engage him in peace talks.

Leadership to discuss Baradar's potential role

The spokesman added that President Karzai will raise the release of the Taliban leader and the role Baradar can play in peace efforts when the Afghan leader meets Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in London this week.  British Prime Minister David Cameron is hosting the two men as part of British efforts to improve ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Afghan Taliban recently claimed that Mullah Baradar effectively remains under arrest in Pakistan and his health has deteriorated.

Pakistani officials dismiss those claims and insist that the former deputy Taliban commander is a free man.

Pakistani adviser on foreign affairs and national security, Sartaj Aziz, told VOA that Pakistan is doing all it can to support efforts to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan because a volatile post-2014 situation there will be a matter of grave concern for his country.

"God forbid if [Afghan] reconciliation does not take place and large scale fighting takes place then we will have a dual problem. A lot of volunteers will start going from here to participate, on the other hand a lot of refugees will start pouring into Pakistan. So the instability will definitely spill into Pakistan,” Aziz said.

Pakistan is fighting its own war against domestic Taliban insurgents, an off-shoot of the Afghan insurgency. The militants have responded by carrying out deadly suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks that have killed thousands of Pakistanis in recent years.

Prime Minister Sharif’s newly-elected government is trying to engage the Pakistani Taliban in peace talks to end the militancy. But critics are highly skeptical about the success of the policy, citing militants' refusal to accept Pakistan's constitution and determination to seek implementation of their brand of Islamic system in the country.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid