Pakistan to continue detention of Baradar


Owing to current stalemate in peace talks between the US and the Taliban, Pakistan has decided to continue with the detention of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and other Taliban leaders and any decision on their likely release could be made if Doha dialogue is resumed and the current deadlock is ended.
Pakistan set free over 24 Taliban detainees few months back in order to facilitate the Afghanistan reconciliation process. The vital step by Islamabad was taken in response to request made by the High Peace Council of Afghanistan, a body formed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to hold talks with the Mullah Omar-led Taliban.
In addition to that, Pakistan has also played a key role in the opening of Taliban office in Doha and its help and facilitation was acknowledged by the US and its other NATO allies.
The opening of Taliban office in Doha last month and especially their (Taliban) decision to hold talks only with the representatives of Obama administration didn’t go well with President Karzai, who took no time to raise objections to the flag and plaque of the Islamic Emirate being used for ‘Taliban political office’ in the Qatari capital.
As a result of row over their newly-opened office, the Taliban negotiators stopped visiting the venue and announced to shut it thus dashing the hopes for early resumption of dialogue.
However, diplomatic sources hope that talks between the US and the Taliban would resume soon as Washington is engaged in intense diplomatic efforts for the purpose and has also sought Islamabad’s help in this regard.
A source said that the US and the Taliban in their previous talks held months back in Doha did not use the Taliban office so they could do that in future as well and they could use another venue for the purpose and meanwhile try to end row over the office.
Another diplomatic source said that owing to the stalemated talks Pakistan had also decided to continue the detention of Mullah Baradar and other Taliban prisoners.
“Pakistan hopes that the Doha process would be resumed and if that happened, the decision on the possible release of Taliban detainees could be made,” he said.
He said the Karzai government had been urging Pakistan for the release of Baradar and other Taliban leaders but it would have to wait for any development on that front for some time.
Pakistani authorities are also upset over the anti-Islamabad tirade that the Afghan president has currently opted for and they want him to play positive and constructive role for the success of peace process instead of blaming Pakistan for every problem that his country is facing.
Sources, however, said that Pakistan’s decision to put on hold the release of Taliban leaders had more to do with deadlock in Doha process than the strong anti-Islamabad statements being issued by Karzai.