News / Asia

    Pakistan Frees Afghan Taliban Deputy Commander

    Pakistan officials present an unnamed, alleged Taliban commander to media shortly after confirming the capture the Afghan Taliban's No. 2 leader commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Karachi, Feb. 17, 2010.Pakistan officials present an unnamed, alleged Taliban commander to media shortly after confirming the capture the Afghan Taliban's No. 2 leader commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Karachi, Feb. 17, 2010.
    x
    Pakistan officials present an unnamed, alleged Taliban commander to media shortly after confirming the capture the Afghan Taliban's No. 2 leader commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Karachi, Feb. 17, 2010.
    Pakistan officials present an unnamed, alleged Taliban commander to media shortly after confirming the capture the Afghan Taliban's No. 2 leader commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Karachi, Feb. 17, 2010.
    Ayaz Gul
    Pakistan has freed Afghan Taliban deputy commander Abdul Ghani Baradar in a attempt to jumpstart a tumultuous peace process in neighboring Afghanistan as most NATO troops prepare to leave the war-torn country by the end of 2014. 

    Pakistani authorities said on Saturday that Baradar was a free man, but they refused to discuss details.

    A secret Pakistani raid on Baradar's hideout in Karachi three years ago led to the capture and detention of the deputy leader of the Afghan Taliban. 

    Baradar had been among dozens of Taliban insurgents in Pakistan’s custody. Officials have so far cited no legal reasons for their detention and no charges have been filed against any of them.

    The Afghan government and the United States both have long urged Islamabad to release the men and send them back to their homeland, hoping they can bring insurgent leaders to the negotiating table to help end the protracted conflict in Afghanistan.

    Mushahid Hussain is an influential Pakistani Senator and heads the foreign affairs committee of the upper house of parliament.

    “The peace process has to include the Taliban. So, Mullah Baradar is one of the very high-profile figures who has been close to the top leadership of the Taliban. So, I think Mullah Baradar can be a good facilitator in the peace process,” said Hussain.

    Pakistan set free 26 Taliban prisoners late last year but Afghan authorities were unhappy about the move. They insisted that Islamabad did not take Kabul into its confidence and the whereabouts of those released remains unknown, raising questions about the effectiveness of the Pakistani move.

    Since the official visit of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to Islamabad late last month, Pakistan has released eight more Taliban insurgents together with Baradar, after sharing details in advance with Afghan authorities.   

    Foreign ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry however dismisses Afghan criticism that Pakistan's earlier release of Taliban leaders did not help peace efforts.

    “Our assessment is that the elements who participate in the reconciliation process will ultimately contribute to the peace process. You cannot measure in every case like this, but the objective is very clear that we are releasing only for one purpose which is to advance the reconciliation process,” he said.

    Baradar was a founder of the Taliban insurgency and a close associate of its reclusive chief Mullah Mohammad Omar. He was posted at key military and political posts when the Taliban was in control of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

    But there is widespread skepticism on both sides of the border about whether Baradar still enjoys the same clout after having stayed away for so long from the Taliban insurgency while in detention in Pakistan. 

    It is widely believed that Pakistan's spy agency, the ISI, assisted the Taliban to rise to power in Afghanistan and Pakistan was one of three countries that recognized the Islamist movement’s government until the U.S.-led military invasion overthrew the Taliban from power for sheltering the al-Qaida network.

    In Kabul, presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi told reporters the Afghan government welcomed Pakistan’s decision to release Baradar and hoped the Taliban leader decided to return to Afghanistan. He claimed that constant pressure from the Afghan government eventually led to Baradar’s release.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
    September 23, 2013 3:45 AM
    Pakistan Govt is not competent to solve these problems. They do not have vision or brain to solve these problems. We can predict that these talks will not bring any peace in Pakistan, how these lazy and brainless ministers feel that by releasing commander will bring any positive change in Pakistan.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora