KABUL: Afghanistan will demand an explanation from Pakistan on the whereabouts of former Taliban second-in-command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar when the leaders of both countries meet next week to discuss how to end years of insurgency, an Afghan official said on Saturday.
The whereabouts of Baradar has been the source of intense speculation since Pakistan announced his release on Sept 20. Pakistani sources say he is still kept in a safe house and is closely watched by his Pakistani handlers.Afghanistan believes Mullah Baradar, who was once a close friend of the reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, has enough clout to persuade the Taliban to make peace, but his prolonged stay in Pakistan may have marred his reputation among fighters.“Mullah Baradar is still under strict supervision,” said Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai.“We will be seeking an explanation from Pakistan on the whereabouts of Mullah Baradar and how Pakistan can facilitate direct talks between him and the High Peace Council.”Karzai formed the High Peace Council in 2010 to seek a negotiated end to the insurgency the Taliban have waged since being forced out from power in 2001 by a US-led invasion.
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