PESHAWAR - The law enforcement agencies in a surprise move arrested a leading Taliban leader and former Afghan minister from Hayatabad, Peshawar, at midnight between Friday and Saturday. Former Taliban minister Ustad Yassar was arrested along with two others. However, identity of the remaining two persons is yet to be determined. Through some highly placed sources, this scribe came to know that heavy contingents of law enforcing and secret agencies cordoned off the area in Hayatabad at midnight. After a brief but comprehensive action, the authorities arrested the three persons. Ustad Yassar and his two accomplices were arrested from the locality, wherefrom TTP Khyber Agency chief Qari Yahya Hijrat, also known as Mustafa Kamran, was arrested on December 10, 2008. Ustad Yassar became more active in Pakistan instead of Afghanistan after his release in return of an Italian journalist. The Italian journalist was kidnapped, along with an Afghan journalist, Ajmal Naqashbandi, on April 26, 2006. Ajmal was assassinated whereas the Italian journalist was released in return of five persons, including Ustad Yassar and Dad Ullah Mansoor. During war against Soviet Union, he was affiliated with Ittehad-e-Islami Afghanistan. After that Ustad Yassar became a leading Taliban leader. He was arrested from Mardan in 2004. He was later on handed over to the United States and airlifted from Pakistan into Kabul. After his release in lieu of the Italian journalist in the mid of 2006, Ustad Yassar slipped into tribal region and has been actively supporting militant activities, including targeted killings, blowing up schools, slaughtering and assassination of the hostages. Ustad Yassar, highly educated from Saudi Arab, is considered amongst the teachers of TTP leaders like Bait Ullah Mehsud, Qari Yahya Hijrat, Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, Abdul Wali and others. He was the man behind Taliban publications like Sarak, Ilham, Pasoon, Zameer and others. He is also author of around 60 books in Pushto, Darri and Arabic. In the light of his religious beliefs, Ustad Yassar entered into relations with the Arabs. He arranged marriages of his three sisters with the Arabs and similarly he also married an Arab woman. Besides serving as Minister for Information, Housing and Planning in 1992-94, Ustad Yassar switched over to Taliban when they came into power in 1996. He had served Taliban regime in several capacities. After his release in 2006, he was appointed by Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar as head of Information and Publicity Committee. However, Mullah Omar became unhappy with Ustad Yassar when the latter attended several "punishment and execution" ceremonies of TTP in Waziristan, Khyber Agency, Bajaur and even endorsing the brutal acts on the part of TTP Swat chapter.