Pakistan pledges to free all Afghan Taliban detainees

Saturday, January 19, 2013
[PHOTO: Al Jazeera English/CC BY-SA 2.0] 

Islamabad: Pakistan has said it plans to release all Afghan Taliban prisoners still in its custody.

Jalil Jilani, Pakistan's foreign secretary, said at a news conference in Abu Dhabi that Islamabad was coordinating the release of all prisoners.

He said those released will include Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the militants group's former second-in-command.

Kabul has long called on Islamabad to free Baradar, whom it sees as key to unlocking tentative peace negotiations with the Taliban.

Afghanistan's ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Najeebullah Mujadedi, told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that he welcomed the development. But he urged Islamabad's help in relocating the former inmates to Afghanistan.

Kabul has recently freed hundreds of Taliban militants inside Afghanistan and secured the release of 26 Taliban prisoners held by Pakistan.

Copyright (c) 2013. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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