Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a senior member of the Afghan Taliban, was set free by Pakistan a few days ago, the Afghan Taliban spokesperson confirmed on Thursday.
Mullah Baradar is one of the four men, including Mullah Omar, who started the Afghan Taliban movement in 1994. He was arrested in Karachi in 2010.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar joined his family on Tuesday, Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesperson, said.
Pakistan has not publicly confirmed the release. However, a senior intelligence official, requesting anonymity, confirmed the development.
There were reports of a prisoner swap as well. “But it is too early to say if that would happen,” the official said.
“I can’t comment on this,” said Dr Muhammad Faisal, the spokesperson for Pakistan’s Foreign Office, when he was approached.
Rahimullah Yosufzai, an expert on Afghan Taliban and other militant groups, told SAMAA Digital that the Afghan Taliban and the US have been talking to each other in Qatar.
“Mullah Barader’s release could be a step to pave the way forward for talks between the Taliban and the US.”
A Taliban delegation had met with US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar on October 12. They discussed ending the Afghan conflict. The meeting was confirmed by the Taliban.