Pakistan says Afghan Taliban leader freed to help in peace process

ISLAMABAD, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan said on Thursday that it has released a senior Afghan Taliban leader on the U.S. request to facilitate the peace process in Afghanistan.

Pakistan last month released the former deputy chief of the Afghan Taliban Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar after nearly nine year in custody.

Baradar was arrested in a joint raid by the U.S. and Pakistani security officials in the port city of Karachi in 2010, according to the Pakistani officials.

The Pakistan foreign ministry spokesman said the release of Baradar was "facilitated by Pakistan at the U.S. request in order to move forward on the shared objective of pursuing a political settlement in Afghanistan."

"This decision was taken following the visit of the U.S. Special Envoy on Afghan Reconciliation, Ambassador Khalilzad to the region and his meetings with Taliban representatives in Doha," the spokesman said at his weekly press briefing.

The Taliban leader was released to provide impetus to the peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan, Faisal sad, adding Pakistan will continue to pursue reconciliatory efforts to expedite and facilitate the process to our fullest ability.

"Mullah Baradar was under custody for the last many years after his capture by the Pakistani authorities in a search operation," the spokesman said.

[ Editor: WPY ]
 

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