NAWAIWAQT GROUP
 
 
 
Pakistan frees more Taliban prisoners
 
 
 

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Monday released eight more Taliban detainees, including a close aide of Mullah Omar and former justice minister, to facilitate the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process for lasting peace and stability in the war-ravaged neighbour.The number of Afghan Taliban detainees released by Pakistan so far has risen to 26. Among those who were released by Pakistan included former governor Helmand Abdul Bari, former justice minister Nuruddin Turabi, former minister Allah Daad Tabib, former governor Kabul Mullah Daud Jan and ex governor Mir Ahmed Gul. Pakistan had released 18 Taliban prisoners last month on Afghan High Peace Council’s request.Among those released last month also included three former governors including Mulla Abdul Salam, Mir Ahmad Gul and Daud Jalali.Pakistan, which desires lasting peace and stability in the neighbouring country, has committed itself to support the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process.Diplomats privy to the development believe that Pakistan’s decision to release Afghan Taliban detainees coincides with what has been described as Afghan government’s Peace Process Roadmap 2015 aimed at engaging Afghan Taliban to shun violence and dissociate from Al-Qaeda in a bid to give them political role in country’s future politics.The move, they believe is also in line with trilateral agreement between Pakistan, United States and Afghanistan to provide safe passage to various Taliban leaders willing to join the reconciliation process.The ‘Peace Process Roadmap to 2015’ envisages release of Taliban prisoners in custody of United States and de-listing of Taliban from UN sanctions which entail travel ban and assets freeze. Sources say there are 132 Taliban against whom the UN has imposed sanctions, while there were five senior Taliban leaders in the US custody.The Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process is gaining significant ground after release of Taliban detainees by Pakistan.According to foreign policy experts the recent conference between Afghan government and Taliban held in Paris was a good breakthrough in this regard and that these talks would continue in the coming months. They believe that Saudi Arabia and Turkey would be venues for these talks. Staff Reporter from North Waziristan adds: Nine dead bodies of suspected Taliban militants were found dumped in North Waziristan Agency on Monday, officials and residents said.The bullet-riddled bodies were found near Pir Kili on Miranshah-Bannu road, 10 kilometres east of the agency’s main town of Miranshah.Tribesmen said unidentified men had thrown those bodies and officials said the bodies were yet to be identified; but the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed they were of its fighters and it accused the security forces of killing them.Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for the TTP, told a foreign news agency that all nine were Taliban fighters. “We are proud of their martyrdom; soon we will take revenge for this killing,” he said.It has also been learnt that all those killed belonged to Mehsud tribe of North Waziristan. The bodies were found a day after a roadside bomb killed at least two soldiers and injured two others in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan bordering Afghanistan.Jets pound hideouts: Fighter jets pounded the militant hideouts in Sarokha Kaley, a far-flung area of Tirah valley in Tehsil Bara on Monday killing at least eight militants including a key commander.Sources said the security forces, on a tip-off by intelligence agencies that militants were present in the area, conducted aerial strikes on Sarokha Kaley with fighter jets. The death toll could not be confirmed by the militant groups or other sources.On the other hand, the local tribesmen have said that fighting between security forces and militants is taking toll on poor masses. They said 14 people including women and children had been killed in the strikes. Captaan, a resident of the area, said at 4: 00 am in the wee hours of Monday warplanes appeared on the sky of Tirah valley and started bombardment at two houses of the area when people were asleep. The owners of the houses were identified as Shafiq and Hunar Gul. Apart from two men rest of the victims were women and children, he claimed. Soon after the incident the neighbours rushed to the scene and launched rescue and relief work by digging the bodies out of the rubble of destroyed houses, local sources said. The two residences were completely razed to the ground.The head of Bara political administration, when contacted, refused to comment. In 2010, security forces had mistakenly targeted civilian population in Sarawela area of Koki Khel tribe of tehsil Jamrud killing 62 local tribesmen. Later, the security forces apologised to the Koki Khel tribe for the incident.Tirah Bagh Maidan area is 50 kilometers away from Peshawar. It shares boundaries with Afghanistan, Orkazai and Kuraam agencies. It is also considered a stronghold of Ansarul Isalm, a pro-government organisation.

 
 
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