ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign policy chief, Sartaj Aziz Monday said the key Taliban prisoner detained in Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was likely to be released in the next day or two.
Baradar, however, will not be handed over to authorities in Afghanistan, the advisor on foreign affairs to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif added while talking exclusively to Dawn.com.
Aziz earlier last week had said the former Taliban second-in-command could be released as soon as this month to help advance peace efforts in neighbouring Afghanistan,
He told Dawn.com that handing over the key Taliban commander to Afghanistan will sabotage the purpose behind the decision of releasing him.
“Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will be freed into Pakistan and he will remain in the country until he decides himself to move anywhere he deems necessary to initiate the peace process.”
Citing security reasons, the foreign adviser did not elaborate on the specific date and time of the potential release.
Baradar is one of the four men who founded the Taliban movement in 1994, and is believed to be a close aide and one of the most trusted commanders of Mullah Mohammad Omar, the spiritual leader of the Taliban. He was captured from the port city of Karachi in February, 2010.
Afghanistan has been pushing Pakistan to release Baradar, whose release they believe would prove fruitful in negotiations with Taliban militants prior to the withdrawal of US and Nato forces from the war-torn nation.