Pak's move to arrest Taliban leaders not a signal of policy shift

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Islamabad, Feb.19 (ANI): The arrest in Pakistan of a top Afghan Taliban commander does not signal a fundamental Pakistani policy shift, the Dawn reports.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the most senior Taliban commander ever arrested in Pakistan.

He was captured as US forces spearheaded one of Nato's biggest offensives against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has said little about the rare arrest of a top member of a Taliban leadership council the United States says has been operating in Pakistan for years.

The army confirmed the arrest in a terse statement on Wednesday, but gave no details, citing security reasons.

"What they want to do is assuage the reservations and fears of the international community and to have a stronger bargaining position with respect to developments in Afghanistan," said Khadim Hussain of the Aryana Institute think tank.

"This could be a gesture to show the international community that Pakistan is capable of dealing with the Taliban. They'd like to take this opportunity to exert their position vis a vis Afghanistan and vis a vis India," Hussain said.

Pakistan realizes the world would not tolerate its backing of another Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

Hussain also said he did not envisage an end to Pakistan's use of non-state actors for "political mileage" in Afghanistan.

"I don't see any hope for that right now," he said. (ANI)

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