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Abdul Ghani Baradar: Knowing the Taliban commander

Last Updated: Saturday, September 21, 2013 - 23:41

Zee Media Bureau/Himanshu Kapoor

New Delhi: Pakistan on Saturday released Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar to facilitate the Afghan peace process. Baradar has been released but he won’t be handed over to Afghanistan.

One of the founding members of the Afghan Taliban, Baradar was second-in-command at the organisation after Mullah Mohammed Omar himself.

During 1980s Soviet War, he fought as serving in the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet-backed Afghan government. And later in 1994 he helped Omar set up the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

Barader also fought against the US following the Spetember 11, 2001 attacks when the United States invaded Afghanistan and deposed the Taliban with the help of Afghan forces. A story reported by Dutch journalist Bette Dam contends that Baradar actually saved Hamid Karzai`s life when the latter had entered Afghanistan to build an anti-Taliban force.

Described as a consensus builder, Baradar was reportedly behind several attempts to begin peace talks, specifically in 2004 and 2009.
In 2008, Baradar was captured in Karachi during a morning raid which the US officials claimed as the turning point in the struggle with the Taliban. Despite repeated claims that Pakistan would release and deliver to Afghanistan if it is formally asked to do so, Baradar was expressly excluded from the list of Taliban leaders planned to be released by Pakistan in November 2012.
Baradar had been under United Nations sanctions since February 2001, with his assets frozen and travel banned. The UN had forbidden selling weapons to him.

First Published: Saturday, September 21, 2013 - 21:34

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