Pakistan releases Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Baradar


A Pakistani man reads an Urdu-language evening newspaper reporting the capture of a top Taliban commander at a news stand in Karachi on February 16, 2010. .



Pakistan on Saturday freed Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar so he could assist Afghan authorities with peace talks there, according to the Associated Press.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry announced the move in a statement Friday.

Afghanistan has been pressing Pakistan to release Baradar because Kabul wants his help in negotiating with the Taliban, said Pakistan's GEO News.

The peace talks are a priority in Afghanistan, where the ongoing withdrawal of foreign forces threatens to create a major gap in security.

The coalition's mandate there formally ends December 2014, reported McClatchy.

According to Pakistan's Dawn, Baradar was one of the founders of the Taliban movement in 1994 and is said to be close to the movement's current leader, Mohammad Omar.

Pakistani officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the AP Baradar had left jail but did not provide any more information. Barador was arrested in Karachi in 2010.