US pressure behind Pak "freeing" secret peace talks Taliban chief Mullah Baradar?

Islamabad, Oct 16(ANI): Taliban's top military commander Mullah Baradar, who was arrested earlier this year in Karachi, and was involved in secret negotiations with the Afghan government over a possible peace deal, has reportedly been "freed" by the Pakistani authorities.

Talking to the Daily Times, a Taliban leader did not confirm or deny the report about Baradar's release, but commented that "Baradar was never arrested in the first place".

Another source claimed that "the folks in Washington DC had given the nod for the release of Baradar", and that the Americans and the British were aware of the situation.

It is to be noted that Afghan President Hamid Karzai was extremely angry over Baradar's arrest, as he saw it as a deliberate attempt to dent the peace talks between Kabul and Taliban.

Meanwhile, talking about the scenario, a western diplomat said: "This could be the biggest risk we are taking to seal a deal in Afghanistan, but I am not too optimistic about it."

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

Before his capture, Baradar was overseeing the group's operations across its primary area of activity in southern and western Afghanistan. (ANI)

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