Pakistan frees key Taliban leader

Pakistan has released former Taliban second-in-command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar as part of a strategy to bring about peace in Afghanistan.

Afghan president hails release of Taliban co-founder

There has been no confirmation of Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar's whereabouts after he was freed by Pakistani officials.

Sources in Pakistan have said he could be sent to Turkey or Saudi Arabia to help kick start peace talks with the Taliban after negotiations in Doha broke down.

His freeing is at the heart of efforts to kick-start a stalled peace process as anxiety grows over the country's security, with international troops preparing to pull out of Afghanistan at the end of next year.

A spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai hailed his release:

The Afghan government welcomes Pakistan's decision to release Mullah Baradar. This release has occurred because of the Afghan government's consistent pressure requesting that Mullah Baradar be set free.

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Pakistan releases former Taliban second-in-command

Pakistan's foreign ministry confirmed the release of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. Credit: Photoshot

Former Taliban second-in-command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has been released by Pakistan in a bid to help deliver peace in Afghanistan.

The release of Baradar, one of the founders of the notorious insurgency, has been hailed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

It is hoped the move will help tempt moderate Taliban leaders to the negotiating table after more than a decade of conflict.