Pakistan set to release all Afghan Taliban prisoners



Islamabad: Pakistan has planned to release all Afghan Taliban prisoners who are still in its detention, including the group’s former second-in-command, an official has said.

Jalil Jilani, Pakistan’s foreign secretary, the foreign ministry’s top bureaucrat, told a news conference in Abu Dhabi that they were coordinating the remaining detainees and will be released subsequently.

According to the Daily Times, asked if the former Taliban deputy leader, Mullah Baradar, would be among those released, he said that ‘the aim is to release all.

Jilani was speaking after meeting the acting US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, David Pearce, and Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Luddin at the Afghan embassy in Abu Dhabi, the report said.

Luddin told reporters that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss ‘security and political dimensions of bilateral relationships’ between the three countries.

Regional power Pakistan is seen as critical to the success of US and Afghan efforts to bring stability in Afghanistan, a task gaining urgency as the end of the US combat mission in 2014 draws closer, the report said.

Afghanistan has been pressurizing Pakistan to free Taliban members who could help promote its tentative reconciliation efforts.

According to the report, Luddin said the peace process had gained momentum in recent weeks with the release of some Taliban detainees by Pakistan, preparations by the Afghan Taliban movement to open a political office in Doha, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s visit to Washington.

ANI