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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
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 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.
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