Pakistan: Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, co-founder of the Afghan Taliban, popularly known as “Mulla Baradar” has been released from jail in Pakistan. ITCT Newsdesk has learned that Mullah Baradar was released as part of Doha peace process. Recently, a high level Qatari delegation which included Qatari Foreign Minister, visited Islamabad and met senior leadership of Pakistan.
Mullah Baradar was captured by Pakistani security agencies in Karachi in 2010. It was reported that Mulla Baradar has been released in Pakistan few times before to negotiate with Afghan Taliban but he couldn’t be freed due to unacceptable conditions imposed by Afghanistan government.
Mulla Baradar is one of the four men who founded the Taliban movement in Afghanistan back in 1994. Mulla Baradar held several senior positions in the Taliban government before its fall in 2001. He then fled to Pakistan but was arrested during an operation in 2010. It is believed that Mulla Baradar’s release would help persuade Afghan Taliban to lay down arms and negotiate in new peace talks.
UPDATE (23rd October 2018)
Afghan Taliban have since denied that Mullah Baradar has been released by Pakistan, calling the reports ‘fake news’.
UPDATE (24th October 2018)
Multiple Taliban sources confirmed to ITCT Newsdesk that Mullah Baradar has been released from Pakistani prison with American consent.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani visited Islamabad last Friday and held meetings with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
The development came after Afghanistan’s Taliban announced on October 12 that they had met with U.S. Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad in Doha, Qatar.
Analysts believe his release will help persuade the Taliban to lay down their arms and negotiate new peace talks and contribute to efforts to find a peaceful solution to the 17-year-long Afghan conflict.