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Central & South Asia

Pakistan to free all Afghan Taliban

Agreement to free all remaining Taliban prisoners comes after joint meeting in Abu Dhabi.
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2013 18:07
Pakistan did not discount the possibility of releasing the former second-in-command of the Afghan Taliban [EPA]

Pakistan is prepared to release all Afghan Taliban prisoners currently in Pakistani detention, Pakistani foreign secretary says.

Speaking at a news conference in Abu Dhabi on Friday, Jalil Jilani did not discount the release of Mullah Baradar, the group's one-time second-in-command.

"The remaining detainees, we are coordinating, and they will be released subsequently ... The aim is to release all."

Jilani's statement followed a meeting with David Pearce, US special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Jawed Ludin, Afghan deputy foreign minister.

The meeting took place at the embassy of Afghanistan in the UAE capital.

Speaking to reporters, Luddin said the meeting intended to discuss "security and political dimensions of bilateral relationships" between the three countries.

Luddin said the peace process had gained momentum in recent weeks with the release of some Taliban detainees by Pakistan, preparations by the Afghan Taliban movement to open a political office in Doha, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai's visit to the US.

"Steps have been taken forward in an environment of cooperation and shared concerns ... 2013 is a very crucial year and we agreed we need to maintain the momentum," he said.

"2013 will see concrete outcomes in the peace process."

At their meeting a week ago, Karzai and Barack Obama, the US president, agreed to speed up the handover of combat operations in Afghanistan to Afghan forces.

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Source:
Reuters
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