Pakistan releases eight more Afghan Taliban leaders

December 31st, 2012 by | One Comment |

Pakistan has freed eight more Afghan Taliban leaders, taking the number of freed Taliban leaders to 26 in less than two months, the Foreign Ministry says.

 

Former Taliban Justice Minister, Mulla Noor-ud-Din Turabi is among the fresh group of freed militants.

 

“In order to further facilitate the Afghan reconciliation process, Pakistan has released eight Taliban detainees including Abdul Bari, ex-Governor Helmund, Nur-ud-Din Turabi, ex-Justice Minister, Allah Daad Tabib, ex-Minister, Mullah Daud Jan, ex-Governor Kabul, Mir Ahmed Gul, ex-Governor,” the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said.

 

Last month too, Pakistan released eighteen Taliban prisoners on request of the Afghan High Peace Council, a Foreign Ministry statement said.

 

Afghan embassy and Taliban sources also confirmed the release of their prisoners by Pakistan.

 

Pakistani authorities had released Anwar-ul-Haq Mujahid, and 12 other Taliban prisoners last month. Mujahid, a former commander of Tora Bura, is the son of former jihadi leader, Maulawi Mohammad Yunas Khalis. Mujahid now lives quietly lives with his family in Peshawar, sources close to his family say.

 

Afghan sources say that Afghan government had handed over a list of nearly 40 Taliban prisoners in custody of Pakistan and demand their release.

 

Taliban deputy chief Mulla Abdul Ghani Biradar, is also among the Afghan government’s list. But Pakistan has not yet freed him. Baradar was arrested in the Pakistani port city Karachi in February 2010.

 

Pakistan has freed the Taliban prisoners to give a boost to the much-needed reconciliation efforts particularly the intra-Afghan dialogue but Taliban have so far refused to talk to the US-backed Karzai government.

 

Taliban spokesman and Afghan diplomatic sources confirmed the release of Taliban’s former Justice Minister, Mullah Nuroddin Turabi and three other leaders.

 

Pakistan freed nine Taliban prisoners in November during the visit of Afghan peace envoy, Salahuddin Rabbani. Four more Taliban prisoners had been released ahead of Rabbani's visit.

 

Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the release of four of their leaders including Turabi.

 

Besides, Mullah Turabi, Pakistan freed former Taliban Minister of Communications, Allah Dad, Mullah Abdul Bari, the governor of southern Helmand Province during the Taliban regime and Muhammad Azeem, a former guard of Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid, Taliban sources said.

 

Afghan diplomatic sources in Islamabad also confirmed that Pakistan has freed four Taliban detainees.

 

Last week Pakistan had freed four more senior Taliban leaders, Taliban sources said.

 

Those freed on Thursday include Taliban-designated governor for Kabul Province, Muhammad Daud Jalali, the shadow governor for eastern Nangarhar Province, Mir Ahmad Gul, the deputy-designated governor for southern Helmand Province, Abdul Ghafoor and a key military commander for southern Urozgan Province, Ahmadullah.

 

Turabi is the second important Taliban leader who had been freed by Pakistan to push the peace process.

 

Pakistani authorities had released Anwar-ul-Haq Mujahid, and 12 other Taliban prisoners last month. Mujahid, a former commander of Tora Bura, is the son of former jihadi leader, Maulawi Mohammad Yunas Khalis. Mujahid now lives quietly lives with his family in Peshawar, sources close to his family say.

 

Afghan sources say that Afghan government had handed over a list of nearly 40 Taliban prisoners in custody of Pakistan and demand their release.

 

Taliban deputy chief Mulla Abdul Ghani Biradar, is also among the Afghan government’s list. But Pakistan has not yet freed him. Baradar was arrested in Karachi in February 2010.

 

Although Afghan government has welcomed the Taliban release, it describes the Pakistani process as ‘incomplete’, Afghan sources said.

 

“We want Pakistan should share with us where the freed Taliban have gone, when they had been arrested and on what charges and how they had been arrived in Pakistan,” an Afghan source said.

 

Pakistan has freed the Taliban prisoners to give a boost to the much-needed reconciliation efforts particularly the intra-Afghan dialogue but Taliban have so far refused to talk to the US-backed Karzai government.

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  • Comment by Mike B.: ( January 3rd, 2013 at 12:18 am )

    Great idea! Then, when the Taliban break their promises (which they do all the time) they will probably all be in one area, and we can send in the drones to permanently take them out. The Pakistani’s know this but it resolves them of their responsibility. Good idea!