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Central & South Asia
Taliban arrest motives questioned
Kabul has not yet responded to Islamabad's apparently increased co-operation.
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2010 15:40 GMT



Pakistan's latest moves against Taliban fighters on their territory have been hailed by the US, but others have questioned whether the increased co-operation is a ploy by Islamabad to assert its position as a key player in negotiations with the movement.

Mullah Brader, a trusted friend of Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader, was believed to be one of the key negotiators for the Taliban in Saudi Arabian-backed reconciliation and reintegration talks.

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He was recently arrested in Karachi in a joint Pakistan-US operation, according to US media reports, and is now apparently being interrogated by US and Pakistani agents.

It remains to be seen how his arrest impacts the negotiations. 

Two other Taliban commanders from northern Afghanistan have also reportedly been detained in Pakistan in recent weeks.

Imtiaz Gul, a specialist on Pakistan's tribal region and author of The Al Qaeda Connection told Al Jazeera co-operation between Pakistan is improving.

"I think that the military establishment has started co-operating with the United States now that the US has also started viewing the military establishment in Pakistan with more trust.

"There seems to be a very clear policy shift as far as Pakistan's relations with the Afghan Taliban are concerned - because they are also directly impacting the situation inside Pakistan," he said.

Despite the fact that Islamabad is apparently now providing the co-operation long demanded by Afghanistan, officials in Kabul have made little comment about the arrests.

Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports from Kabul on whether Pakistan's latest moves are helping or hindering attempts to end the conflict with the Taliban.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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