South Asia News

Pakistan freed Taliban co-founder at US request: Envoy

Pakistan released the Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar at Washington’s request to help expedite the Afghan peace talks, the US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said.
Feb 9, 2019
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WASHINGTON: Pakistan released the Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar at Washington’s request to help expedite the Afghan peace talks, the US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said.
 
Khalilzad, who returned to the US from almost a month-long peace mission to South Asia and the Middle East, said on Friday that he had discussed conditions for the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan with the Taliban, but there had been no agreement on this issue yet, Dawn news reported.
 
Speaking at the US Institute of Peace, Khalilzad acknowledged that the US and the Taliban had reached a framework agreement in Doha last month, but more talks were needed before reaching a conclusion.
 
Responding to a question about Pakistan's role in facilitating the US-Taliban talks, he said that Islamabad had played a constructive role and released Baradar "at my request".

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