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Family confirms release of Taliban leader by Pakistan

November 16, 2012

— Photo by Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani authorities have released Anwar-ul Haq Mujahid, a Taliban leader, following negotiations with an Afghan peace delegation earlier in the week, his family told AFP Friday.

Mujahid, the eldest son of late Afghan resistance leader Maulvi Yunus Khalis was released late Thursday, a close relative told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Pakistani security officials on Wednesday said authorities would release at least seven Afghan Taliban leaders in a move seen as a potential breakthrough in stalled peace negotiations before the withdrawal of US-led Nato troops in 2014.

It is not clear if Mujahid was among that group. But he is the first Taliban prisoner recently released by the Pakistani authorities to be identified by name.

“He was with us last night, he has rejoined his family members and his health is good,” he said. Another family member also confirmed.

Mujahid, who is in his 40s, had formed his Tora Bora Mahaz (front) whose fighters are allied with Afghan Taliban.

Mujahid, who hails from the eastern Nangarhar province, named his group after Tora Bora valley which was bombed by the US air force in December 2001 in its pursuit of Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda fighters.

According to Afghan expert Rahimullah Yusufzai he had aligned his group with Taliban movement. He was arrested from northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in 2009.