Pakistan on Sunday confirmed that it has released senior Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar “in line with our commitment to facilitate the peace process in Afghanistan.”Baradar, the former Taliban deputy chief, was captured in Karachi in 2010 in a joint raid by Pakistani and US security officials at a religious school. Taliban sources had earlier told Daily Times that Baradar and another leader, Abdul Samad, the head of Taliban logistics, were freed on Oct 24, weeks after Taliban representatives met US Special Envoy on Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar to explore ways for political solution to the conflict.The release of prisoners is one of the confidence building measures that had been discussed during the Taliban-US talks in Qatar, according to Taliban sources. Pakistan embassy in Kabul also confirmed the release of Baradar and Abdul Samad in a brief statement sent to the Afghan and Pakistan media. “Mullah Bradar and Mullah Samad Sani were released by Pakistan in line with its commitment to facilitate peace process in Afghanistan,” the statement said. “We remain committed to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process,” it added. Samad Sani, chief of a religious school and a well-known trader, was arrested in Balochistan in October 2016. Pakistan had freed some 50 Afghan Taliban leaders in 2013 and early 2014 on a request by then Afghan president Hamid Karzai to encourage them to join the peace process. However, none of the freed Taliban joined reconciliation with the Afghan government.Published in Daily Times, October 29th 2018.