Sat November 22, 2014
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HPC asks Pakistan for Baradar’s address

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JALALABAD: A senior Afghan peace negotiator on Sunday asked Pakistan for the address of recently released Taliban’s second in command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
He said Baradar’s release by Pakistan on Saturday was the result of efforts by the High Peace Council (HPC). But the ex-defence minister was not handed over to the Afghan government.
Islamabad said his release was aimed at advancing the stalled Afghan reconciliation campaign.
HPC deputy head Attaullah Ludin told Pajhwok Afghan News Baradar had been freed after rigorous efforts and persisting demand of the Afghan government.
He hoped the insurgent leader would use his influence to lure rebels into peace talks with the Karzai administration.
Ludin said Baradar being a free man should have a clear address that should help the council access him for peace talks.
He said the panel had been supportive of the opening of Taliban’s office in Qatar, but the bureau was closed down due to subsequent problems.
He said it would have been better if Baradar had been handed over to Afghanistan, adding Baradar seemed in poor health and he was likely to meet his family first. After his health recovery, Ludin said Baradar should have a clear address.
To a question, he said they had urged Pakistan to prevent released Taliban detainees from returning to the battle field. The peace body is trying to pave the ground for opening an office for the Taliban within Afghanistan.
At peace talks, Ludin said Taliban’s first demand would be the release of their detained comrades. “We are ready to cooperate in this regard.”
He accused the international community, some regional countries and individuals of trying to perpetuate the conflict in Afghanistan for the sake of their own interests.
In addition to neighbouring countries and Western powers, Ludin said there were some elements within the system that wanted the war to continue.
“The 40 countries which have come here are not interested in establishing an Islamic system in Afghanistan, but they are here to peruse their own agendas,” the HPC deputy head alleged.
He made clear peace could not be achieved until disgruntled Afghans cut off links with foreign conspirators and common Afghans were enabled to understand the importance of peace.
He insisted peace was the only way to steer Afghanistan out of the current crises, saying the Taliban could come to power if they took part in the elections.

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