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Pakistan may release key Taliban leaders

Pakistan,Indo-Pak/Pakistan,Terrorism, Fri, 16 Nov 2012 IANS

Islamabad, Nov 16 (IANS) Four top aides of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, who are currently imprisoned in Pakistan, may soon be released following meetings between an Afghan delegation and the Pakistani government, a media report said Friday.

The Afghan High Peace Council delegation, led by chairman Salahuddin Rabbani, held talks for three days with Pakistani officials, the Dawn reported.

The daily said the delegation successfully secured the release of "a number of Taliban figures".

The Pakistani government would also consider freeing Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the former Taliban No.2 after Mullah Omar, it said.

Another top aide in prison has been identified as Mullah Noorudin Toorabi.

The daily said the first batch of about 10 "mid?ranking" Taliban commanders have already been freed.

The names of those freed were not made public. However, the "most senior figure" among them was identified as Maulawi Anwar?ul?Haq Mujahid, who commanded Taliban fighters in Nangarhar province after the fall of the Taliban government in 2001.

Haq, son of former Hizb?i?Islami (Khalis) group chief Maulawi Mohammed Yunis Khalis, was arrested in Peshawar in 2009.

Haq took over the leadership of his outfit after the death of his father in 2006. He reportedly helped Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden escape from a US attack in Tora Bora in 2001, the daily said.

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