Photo shows Chief of Army StaffGeneral Ashfaq Parvez Kayani at the General Headquarters with Afghan High Peace Council head Salahuddin Rabbani, who was in Pakistan for three-day talks.—Photo by ISPR

KABUL: Pakistan will consider freeing former Afghan Taliban second-in-command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, if current releases of lower level members help to advance peace efforts, officials from both countries told Reuters on Thursday.

“After releasing 13 Taliban, Pakistan promised to free Mullah Baradar if these releases prove effective in peace negotiations,” said a senior Afghan official close to talks between Islamabad and Kabul.

Afghanistan has been pushing Pakistan to release Afghan Taliban captives who could provide leverage in any peace talks.

Pakistan has released mid-level Taliban prisoners over the last two days.

But Pakistan is under growing pressure to free senior Taliban figures like Baradar, as most Nato combat troops pull out by the end of 2014.

Afghan officials believe he may command enough respect to persuade the Taliban to engage in talks with the Kabul government.

Asked if Baradar would also be freed, a senior Pakistani foreign ministry official said that could happen if the release of the mid-level Taliban figures “produced results”.

Updated Nov 15, 2012 02:58pm

Comments (Closed)


Sandip
Nov 15, 2012 09:26pm
Couple of things that needs to be considered during this political game 1) What are they going to give up (or loose) 2) What is they going to gain. With terrorists outfits they dont have much to loose as the option of going into hiding and start being a terrorist is again there. Other part is during this phases usually democratic government will not make correct decisions (like Karzai asking for release of terrorist) as more improtant to them is to take care of there support in parliament and not welfare of society.
shami
Nov 15, 2012 06:54pm
Well done!Let the killers of thousands of innocent people in Pakistan free. Afterall they reserve the right to kill more and more people.
Jaihoon
Nov 15, 2012 04:39pm
This all nonsense. Pakistan's security establishment holds the key to allow the so-called Afghan Taliban to return to their country and seize all weapons given to them for subversive activities in Afghanistan. Considering the state of religious extremism and acts of terrorism in Pakistan, leaders of Pakistan-- civilian and military- should be realistic enough to opt for ensuring regional peace and harmony.
Pro truth
Nov 15, 2012 04:05pm
What Pakistan got out of this deal? do we have handover of Taliban wanted by Pakistan likes of Hakeem ullah and fazal ullah? While NATO and Afghanistan asking pakistan to capture them in the past, now want them get it released? what a wicked strategy!
HM
Nov 15, 2012 08:43pm
Shame... you want to release terrorists.
Goga Nalaik
Nov 15, 2012 03:31pm
This release could be disastrous for Pakistan.
Syed Saeed Bokhari
Nov 15, 2012 07:27pm
How about getting atleast something like peace in return, before releasing these proven outlaws and criminals. Have we heard anything about what Taliban are commited to do or will they continue beheading innocent unarmed victims??
Rattan(Sydney)
Nov 15, 2012 05:05pm
Pakistanis - are you ashamed of yourself yet?
Javed
Nov 15, 2012 04:37pm
Once they are in Afghanistan the US should take out all these Taliban terrorists with drone strikes. There are 40,000 Pakistanis dead today because of them and their affiliates.
AA
Nov 16, 2012 03:05am
How do they know this guy would help in any de-escalation? Can they really trust him?