Making Peace With Afghanistan

on Sunday, September 22, 2013

A former Afghan Taliban named Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was recently released by Pakistan. This step was taken as a measure to establish peace between the two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Afghanistan along with the United States had been pressurizing Islamabad to let go of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar because they felt that by doing so, the Taliban leaders might be up for negotiation. Though Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has been released, but to which part of the world he would be sent to, it still remains unconfirmed. Rumors are that he may probably be sent to Saudi Arabia or Turkey.

People in Kabul were hoping that Baradar would be handed over to Afghanistan directly, but Sartaj Aziz who is a government adviser said that he would be released in Pakistan, not in Afghanistan. He further said that this decision was taken because if he is released in Pakistan, he can get his fellow Taliban leaders, who are in Afghanistan, to come up for peace talks.

To what extent the release of Baradar will have an effect on the events in Afghanistan that cannot be said at the moment. A mid-level Afghan Taliban official said that this step of releasing Baradar will have less to no impact because he is just a simple guy who has no authority or position in the Taliban network now.

However, Baradar was once a very good friend of Mullah Mohammad Omar, the reclusive Taliban leader. There still is some hope that Baradar may be able to convince Mullah Omer to come forward to the negotiating table.

Baradar has had a reputation for being a pragmatic, level-headed operator who once even tried to convince Kabul to look for a peace settlement. However, critics believe that since he had been held captive in Pakistan for quite some time, it may be that he may have lost some of his power and influence, if not all of it.

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