An estimated 2,300 men freed
Several key Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan leaders and key Afghan Taliban commanders have been released from prisons across Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of the country this weekend.
Of these militants one of the most recognised names is Maulana Faqir Mohammad, the former deputy chief of the the TTP. Scenes of his release have been circulating on social media. His release was confirmed in a statement by a TTP spokesperson. Faqir has publicly stated that he has close ties to Al Qaeda chief Ayman al Zawahiri.
Earlier in April, the Afghan government announced that they are releasing Maulvi Faqir. However, they did not release him.
Former TTP Deputy & senior Pakistani Taliban Commander Maulvi Faqir Muhammad among hundreds other prisoners freed by Taliban in Afghanistan. His release was confirmed via statement by TTP Spok. Faqir publicly stated that he has close ties to Al Qaeda Chief Ayman al Zawahiri pic.twitter.com/lV45KY19p5
— Saleem Mehsud (@SaleemMehsud) August 16, 2021
Other key commanders released by the Taliban include Baitullah Mehsud’s driver Commander Zali, Waqas Mehsud, Hamza Mehsud, Zarqawi Mehsud, Zaitullah Mehsud, Qari Hameedullah Mehsud, Dr Hameed Mehsud and Mazhar Mehsud.
Earlier, journalist Anis-ur-Rehman claimed in a tweet that the Afghan Taliban had so far released about 2,300 key TTP commanders and leaders from Waziristan, Sargodha, Swat and Bajaur.
Maulana Faqir Mohammad, a former deputy chief of the Harakat-e-Taliban, was arrested along with his accomplices in the Afghan province of Kunar in 2013, but was transferred to Bagram prison in 2018.
Faqir Mohammad and 200 other Pakistani and Afghan Taliban prisoners were held in the same barracks in the former US-occupied prison.
Maulvi Faqir Mohammad was known as the largest commander of banned organizations in Bajaur Agency in the days when al-Qaeda and other foreign fighters had a strong presence in the tribal areas.
According to media reports, the current head of al-Qaeda, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, used to visit his house as a guest. This is why Faqir Mohammad has been accused of having close ties with Arab fighters.