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Taliban leader Baradar released at US request for political settlement in Afghanistan: Pak

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

on Thursday said the Afghan Taliban's former Mullah Baradar was released from jail at the request of the US as part of efforts to pursue a political settlement in war-torn

"Baradar was released to provide impetus to the peace and reconciliation efforts in will continue to pursue reconciliatory efforts to expedite and facilitate the process to our fullest ability," said

Baradar's release was facilitated by at the US request in order to move forward on the shared objective of pursuing a political settlement in Afghanistan, he said.

The was in custody for the last many years after his capture by Pakistani authorities in a

"This decision was taken following the visit of the US on Afghan Reconciliation, to the region and his meetings with representatives in Doha," Faisal said.

In recent months, the has increased pressure on Pakistan to limit the freedom of leaders, forcing them to join Afghan peace talks.

Last month, Khalilzad, tasked with helping find a way to end the war in Afghanistan, met with Taliban representatives in

Baradar, one of the four top commanders who formed the Afghan Taliban in 1994, was captured by Pakistani security agencies in in 2010.

He was finally released from jail on the solicitation of the government of Qatar, a Pakistani media report said last month.

Baradar, who is in his 50s, is believed to be the highest ranking Afghan Taliban prisoner freed so far.

He had held several senior positions in Afghanistan's Taliban government before its fall in 2001. He was once considered the most influential Taliban after Mullah

Born in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan, Baradar fought in the war to expel Soviet troops from in the 1980s. When the Taliban came to power in 1996, Baradar became

After the Taliban regime was toppled by US-led forces in 2001, hundreds of Taliban hardliners fled over the border to Pakistan. Baradar was among them.

Recently, a high-level delegation from also visited and met the senior Pakistani leadership, the report said.

It did not give any details of Baradar's whereabouts after his release. It was also not clear whether he was handed over to Afghanistan or stayed in Pakistan.

It was reported a few times that Baradar had been released in Pakistan to negotiate with the Afghan Taliban but he could not be freed due to unacceptable conditions imposed by the Afghanistan government, the report said.

Faisal said Pakistan has always been emphasising the need for seeking a negotiated settlement of the Afghan issue with the participation of all stakeholders.

Responding to a question about the proposed peace talks in on Afghan peace efforts, the said a Pakistani delegation led by an will attend the dialogue.

He said a trilateral meeting of Pak-China-Afghan foreign ministers will be held in "We expect that the meeting can be a step towards lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan," he said.

He also said it was a matter of concern that a recent American report had pointed out that the and foreign military forces are losing control over the security situation in Afghanistan.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 08 2018. 20:45 IST
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