Taliban's former No. 2 could help in Taliban-Afghanistan peace talks

Islamabad, Sept. 13 (ANI): The former Taliban second-in-command, a friend of Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar, Abdul Ghani Baradar may now hold the key to Afghanistan's peace.

Afghanistan and Pakistan believe Baradar could help persuade his former comrades to lay down their weapons and engage in peace talks, the Daily Times reports.

Pakistan announced this week that it would free Baradar as early as this month.

Sources in Pakistan and Afghanistan said he could be sent to another country, may be Saudi Arabia or Turkey, to prepare him for the mission.

According to the report, Afghanistan sees Baradar as a sensible and down-to-earth negotiator, who is willing to act as a go-between for the Afghanistan Government and the Taliban leadership council, the Quetta Shura.

Baradar's involvement gives little hope that peace negotiations might restart after US-backed efforts to establish a Taliban office in Qatar collapsed in June, the report added. (ANI)

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