Thursday, 21 October 2010
Last Saturday (see below) I asked if it was possible that Afghan Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Barodar, pictured above, was leading peace efforts, having been released from custody in Pakistan. Yesterday the Daily Telegraph confirmed that he was indeed at the centre of these discussions.
The paper said: "Highly-placed sources have told The Telegraph that Barodar has been meeting with Taliban commanders in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with security guarantees from both governments and the US. Four other Pakistan-based Taliban leaders supportive of Barodar are also thought to have been contact with US authorities, and are reported to have travelled into Afghanistan under NATO escort on several occasions.
"Barodar isn't acting on our behalf but our understanding is that he is meeting with people in his organisation to build a consensus that will let the Taliban come to the dialogue table," an Afghan official said."
Update: The ISI is saying that there is no truth in the fact that Barodar was released recently. See this article in the WSJ, for example.