Pakistan Releases Taliban Prisoner

PAKISTAN released its highest-ranking Afghan Taliban prisoner yesterday in an effort to jump-start Afghanistan’s struggling peace process, Pakistani officials said, but some doubt he will make much of a difference.

The Afghan government has long demanded that Pakistan free Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s former deputy leader who was arrested in a joint raid with the CIA in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi in 2010.

The United States is also keen for the Afghan government to strike a peace deal with the Taliban before it withdraws most of its combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

But the US pressured Pakistan not to release Baradar because of concerns he would return to the battlefield, officials said.

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