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Saturday
Sep212013

Pakistan Releases Top Afghan Taliban Prisoner

Chris Pecoraro/Getty Images(ISLAMABAD, Pakistan) -- Pakistani officials say they have released their highest-ranking Afghan Taliban prisoner to jumpstart  Afghanistan's struggling peace process.

Pakistani officials released Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Saturday, who was at one point the second-in-command of the Afghan Taliban, behind only Mullah Mohammed Omar. Baradar was captured in 2010 and Afghanistan has demanded his release ever since.

Baradar was one of four men who founded the Taliban movement in Afghanistan in 1994, and was later a key part of the insurgency after the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

BBC News reports that Baradar has shown a willingness to negotiate, making his release a strategic move in the hopes of bringing peace.

Baradar is seen as a more moderate Taliban leader. Officials believe that they can work with Baradar to bring other Taliban leaders into a peace deal with the Afghan government.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio