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Pakistan May Free Taliban's Military Chief for Talks

RIA Novosti

16:05 09/08/2012 MOSCOW, August 9 (RIA Novosti) - Pakistan may free the Taliban’s top military commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, to give impetus to Afghanistan's ongoing reconciliation efforts with the Taliban, the Pajhvok news agency said on Thursday.

Baradar was captured in February 2010 in Karachi, Pakistan, in a secret joint operation by Pakistani and American intelligence forces, according to American government officials. He is ranked second in influence to Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Muhammad Omar.

Pakistan has so far resisted Afghanistan's demand for access to Baradar and other key Taliban leaders believed to be in Pakistani custody. The government is actively considering the release of Baradar to boost Kabul's peace negotiations with Taliban, The Express Tribune newspaper quoted its sources as saying.

At the time of his arrest, Baradar was believed to be holding secret peace talks with the Afghan government, the News Track India web portal said.

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