Pak says it is poised to capture more Afghan Taliban after Baradar's arrest

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Islamabad, Feb.18 (ANI): Senior Pakistan Government officials have claimed that both Mullah Baradar, the deputy chief of the Afghan Taliban, and those arrested with him, are providing information, which they believe would lead to the possible capture of others in the Taliban's new Karachi and Sindh headquarters.

According to The Telegraph, they are understood to be in the custody of the country's ISI intelligence agency in Karachi.

"We're now confident we can bust the whole network they've established in Karachi and Sindh. We're expecting some more arrests in the days to come," a senior military official told The Daily Telegraph.

He said they Taliban leadership had switched from Quetta to Karachi, a city of 16 million people, because it believed they would be harder to detect there.

Officials said they are confident would help unravel the Taliban and lead to more arrests.

Mullah Baradar, who is second only to its supreme leader Mullah Omar, was arrested along with several other militant figures ten days ago, as they were establishing a new Taliban command and training centre in Karachi.

Senior diplomatic sources said the movement's leadership was targeted as it moved from its base in Quetta, Balochistan, to Karachi.

President Barack Obama's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke last night hailed Baradar's arrest as a "significant development" in the war against the Taliban.

Major General Athar Abbas, chief spokesman for the Pakistan Army, said it had carried out extensive checks to prove the man they arrested was Mullah Baradar, but declined to give further details of his arrest.

The timing and motivation behind Mullah Baradar's arrest was the subject of speculation last night amid claims he had been in contact with President Karzai in recent months and was in favour of peace talks.

Leading Washington-based Pakistan analyst Arif Rafiq suggested Islamabad had finally moved to arrest Mullah Baradar to win favour with the West. (ANI)

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