After Baradar, Two More Taliban Commanders Nabbed

Following arrest of top Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, two other prominent renegades have been arrested by Pakistani intelligence and are being interrogated to trace the whereabouts of elusive al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden and Taliban supremo Mullah Omar, reported PTI.

According to US media reports, two more top Taliban commanders, Mulla Abdul Salam, former shadow governor of Kunduz and Mulla Mohammed, shadow governor of Baghlan province were captured by Pakistan intelligence, said report.

US officials believe that these arrests could lead to revelation of whereabouts of al-Qaida’s top commanders, said report.

New York Times reported that beside giving clues about whereabouts of al-Qaida and Taliban organizations, Pakistani military and intelligence was pushing Washington to use Baradar to play a broker to negotiate a reconciliation with the Taliban, said report.

The officials said that Pakistani intelligence agencies were apparently sheltering Baradar who had little control over the Taliban cadre waging a war against the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said report.

“Baradar and Salam could be used by Pakistani intelligence to point out moderates within the Taliban who could be winned away for a negotiated peace process,” the paper quoted US officials as saying, according to report.

Pakistan which wants a central role in future set-up in Afghanistan is pressing that the Baradar could be a direct player in eventual peace process across the border in Afghanistan, but the paper said whether the Americans shared this view is not known, said report.

Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar had earlier been captured in 2001 by US allied Northern Alliance, but was released by the Americans on the request of Pakistan military and intelligence.

Baradar comes from President Hamid Karzai’s Popalzai Durrani Pashtun tribe and helped the one-eyed Taliban supremo Mulla Omar capture Kandahar in 1994.

US officials have not provided much details on the information conveyed by Baradar, but have suggested that he has an in-depth knowledge of Taliban’s internal landscape.

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