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Mullah Baradar awaits fate in Karachi safe house

23 September, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a former Taliban second-in-command released in Pakistan this weekend, is being kept in a safe house in Karachi as regional powers debate his role in the Afghan peace process, sources in Pakistan said on Sunday.

Afghanistan sees Baradar as a respected figure who could use his influence among the Taliban to help coax moderate commanders to the negotiating table and convince warring parties to stop fighting after more than a decade of war.

The whereabouts of Baradar, one of the founders of the Taliban movement, has been the subject of speculation since Pakistan announced he would be released some time on Saturday. There has been no official confirmation of his movements.

"Mullah Baradar was flown to Karachi from Peshawar early on Sunday. He is being kept in a safe location in Karachi," one Pakistani intelligence source told Reuters.

A government source with knowledge of the situation said separately: "He will not be sent to Afghanistan. He is in a safe house in Karachi. ... Everything will be decided between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States." The source said Pakistan decided to announce his release to coincide with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to New York this week.


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