Pakistan releases 4 more Afghan Taliban prisoners


Supporters of hardline pro-Taliban party Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Nazaryati (JUI-N) shout anti - U.S. slogans during a protest in Quetta on May 2, 2011, after the killing of Osama Bin Laden by U.S. Special Forces in a ground operation in Pakistan's hill station of Abbottabad.


Banaras Khan

Pakistan has released four more Afghan Taliban prisoners, including a former justice minister.

According to Voice of America, Pakistan officials told reporters Monday that former Afghan Justice Minister Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, former Helmand province Governor Abdul Bari, and two other Afghan Taliban prisoners have been freed.

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Turabi is said to be in poor health. The United Nations has said he was appointed as a Taliban military commander in Afghanistan in mid-2009 and was a deputy to Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar.

Sources close to the Afghan Taliban in northwestern Pakistan confirmed the four prisoners had been released, reported Agence France-Presse. They also said they did not include Pakistan's high-profile Taliban detainee, former deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was captured in 2010.

Afghanistan has been trying to get Pakistan to free Taliban members who could help with reconciliation before NATO troops are pulled out by the end of 2014, noted Reuters. Pakistan has been accused of using insurgent groups like the Taliban, but has recently freed a group of mid-level members to show that it is genuine about backing the Afghan peace process.