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An Afghan official has said President Karzai would raise the issue when he meets PM Sharif in London next week for a summit. – File Photo by AFP
An Afghan official has said President Karzai would raise the issue when he meets PM Sharif in London next week for a summit. – File Photo by AFP

KABUL: Afghanistan will demand an explanation from Pakistan on the whereabouts of former Taliban second-in-command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar when the leaders of both countries meet next week to discuss how to end years of insurgency, an Afghan official said on Saturday.

The whereabouts of Baradar has been the source of intense speculation since Pakistan announced his release on Sept 20. Pakistani sources say he is still kept in a safe house and is closely watched by his Pakistani handlers.

Afghanistan believes Mullah Baradar, who was once a close friend of the reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, has enough clout to persuade the Taliban to make peace, but his prolonged stay in Pakistan may have marred his reputation among fighters.

“Mullah Baradar is still under strict supervision,” said Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

“We will be seeking an explanation from Pakistan on the whereabouts of Mullah Baradar and how Pakistan can facilitate direct talks between him and the High Peace Council.”

Karzai formed the High Peace Council in 2010 to seek a negotiated end to the insurgency the Taliban have waged since being forced out from power in 2001 by a US-led invasion.

Faizi said Karzai would raise the issue when he meets Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in London next week for a summit hosted by Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron.

“The High Peace Council is in touch with Mullah Baradar's family, not himself, unfortunately,” Faizi said. “This is what we are seeking. All we know is that his family members were able to contact him, but the High Peace Council itself hasn’t yet reached Mullah Baradar.”

Afghanistan is trying to inject life into attempts to negotiate peace as most US-led Nato combat troops prepare to pull out by the end of 2014.

Baradar, who was captured in Karachi in 2010, is seen as a pragmatic negotiator who reached out to Kabul with a peace initiative before his detention.

The Afghan Taliban say Baradar effectively remains under arrest and that his health has deteriorated.

Some analysts say that Pakistan sees Baradar as a tool who could help it have a say in any future peace deal and limit rival India's influence over Afghanistan after 2014.

Comments (14) Closed

James Oct 26, 2013 09:49pm

Pakistan should not talk much to Karzai, with next Afghanistan election his time is over. Pakistan should help Afghanistan developing new Leaders. There were millions of Afghan refugee studying higher education in Pakistan, many have seen the world, been to US and Europe., All these be encouraged to participate in Afghan elections, bringing new ideas to Afghanistan. Karachi University should open a Campus in Afghanistan for higher education, helpful to both countries.

syed baqar ahsan Oct 26, 2013 10:03pm

Two most ill disciplined neighbouring countries of the world so keep grilling-everything is for sale.

MJ Oct 26, 2013 10:11pm

When will Pakistan grill Afghanistan for their refugees who are spreading terror in Pakistan and are involved in all sorts of illegal, criminal activities.

IMM Oct 26, 2013 10:14pm

Pakistan will never be honest to her neighbors but that only harms Pakistan itself more than what they plot against others.

AFAQ Oct 26, 2013 11:33pm

Why every one want to grill Pakistan. PM fail to grill US on drone and other issue which he want to. No self respect we have and most the confident to stand up for the nation.

Reader Oct 26, 2013 11:36pm

Why are Pakistani leaders besoted with travelling abroad every five seconds. PM traveled last month to attend UNGA and a couple of weeks later he again visited US again to meet Obama. An embarassing pre prepared statement. Now he is travelling with his huge entourage again to UK to discuss Afghanistan. Surely this money could be well spent within Pakistan. Public should ask these question of the PM.

Rizwan Oct 27, 2013 01:33am

Is this really a Pakistani newspaper, using words like "Afghanistan to grill Pakistan". Is there any self respect left for ourselves or we totally got shameless and expect our newspapers to use such kind of words making our own country inferior in comparison to Afghanistan.

Ayaz Oct 27, 2013 06:42am

They host Osama for 10 years next door to PMA Kakul and nothing happened And the only Pakistani .... Dr. Shakil Afridi .... who tried to help, they locked him in jail.........

Taimur Oct 27, 2013 06:59am

Reading this provocative headline, I thought I was reading an Afghan newspaper. Dawn needs to show some self respect!

Ishrat salim Oct 27, 2013 12:24pm

Such attitude was never witnessed by Karzai govt during the rule of Gen Mushraff....

gangadin Oct 27, 2013 12:53pm

Afghanistan is not in any position to "grill" any one. Karzai should not be given refuge in Pakistan. Let him face his fate. Mullah "barader" will be there soon.

Sam Oct 27, 2013 05:43pm

A Very Funny News Title. Look who is talking.... very funny indeed.

tojo Oct 27, 2013 07:35pm

The caption - Afghanistan to grill Pakistan about Mullah Baradar

dr vimal raina Oct 28, 2013 07:50pm

Well the Americans love their barbecue. We in south Asia prefer the grill.