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Tue 1 Jan to Sun 31 Mar 2013

Pakistan to release all Taliban prisoners

Hamid Karzai, the President of Pakistan

wikipedia-ISAF Headquarters Public Affairs Office

Pakistan is to release all Taliban prisoners still in detention, including former second commander in chief and co-founder of the movement in Afghanistan, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

The move follows the November 2012 releases of lower level members of the Islamic fundamentalist militant movement. 

"The remaining detainees [...] will be released subsequently," Pakistan's foreign secretary Jalil Jilani told reporters at a news conference in Abu Dhabi.

Afghan officials have been pressing Pakistan to free the movement's senior leaders like Baradar with the hope that such figures may command enough respect to encourage the Taliban to engage in peace talks with Kabul.

Afghanistan wants to make progress in the talks with the movement before most NATO troops pull out of the country by the end of 2014. The cooperation between the two sides is considered crucial for achieving stability in the region following the troops' withdrawal. 

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