Pakistan releases four more Afghan Taliban
01 January, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday released another four Afghan Taliban prisoners, including former justice minister Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, as part of a process designed to kickstart peace efforts, a government official said.
"Four Taliban prisoners have been released," the Pakistani official told AFP on condition of anonymity. "They include former Taliban justice minister Nooruddin Turabi and ex-governor of Helmand province, Abdul Bari," the official added. Two sources close to the Afghan Taliban in northwestern Pakistan confirmed that four prisoners had been released but said they did not include Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
Baradar was captured in 2010 and Pakistani officials have said in the past that no decision has been taken for his release. Turabi is said to be suffering from poor health.
According to the UN website, he was appointed a Taliban military commander in Afghanistan in mid-2009 and was a deputy to Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar.
Pakistan last month released at least nine Afghan Taliban, officials said. At follow-up talks between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Islamabad agreed to release more Taliban prisoners to facilitate efforts to end the 11-year conflict between the Taliban and the Afghan government.