Top Taliban commander to be released from prison

Sept. 10, 2013 at 3:52 PM
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ISLAMABAD, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Pakistan has agreed to free a high ranking Taliban leader so he can participate in peace talks between the rogue militant group and the Afghan government.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was arrested in Karachi by the Pakistani military working in concert with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in January 2010 and he's been held since, though the Pakistani government has never publicly charged Baradar with a crime.

At the time of his arrest Baradar, a deputy leader of the Taliban, was holding secret negotiations with the government of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. After Baradar's arrest those talks ceased and Taliban leaders refused to negotiate with Karzai on the belief he was acting as a U.S. straw man, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Karzai lobbied Pakistani officials to release Baradar soon after his arrest as a show of good faith so peace negotiations could resume.

Pakistani officials told the Journal the Taliban commander would be released "at an appropriate time."

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