Greg Miller of the Washington Post reports that Pakistan has released at least two recently captured Taliban militants.
“U.S. officials now believe that even as Pakistan's security forces worked with their American counterparts to detain Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and other insurgents, the country's Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, or ISI, quietly freed at least two senior Afghan Taliban figures it had captured on its own,” Miller writes.
“U.S. military and intelligence officials said the releases, detected by American spy agencies but not publicly disclosed, are evidence that parts of Pakistan's security establishment continue to support the Afghan Taliban.”
Meanwhile, Miller’s colleagues at the Post – Joshua Partlow and Karen DeYoung – report that “Senior Afghan officials are now criticizing as counterproductive the arrest in Pakistan this year of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the No. 2 Taliban official. Its main effect, the Afghan officials say, has been to derail Afghan-led efforts to secure peace talks with the Taliban, making that peace ever more remote.”
“The episode offers a window into the mutual suspicions that still divide Afghanistan and Pakistan, mostly because of Pakistan's long history of support for the Taliban, as well as differences between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States about how best to seek reconciliation between insurgents and the Afghan government,” they write.
Some other news reports and perspectives:
- Fareed Zakaria (CNN): “U.S. should grow up and work with Karzai”
- David Miliband (New York Review of Books): “How to end the war in Afghanistan”
- Julius Cavendish (Christian Science Monitor): “In Afghanistan war, government corruption bigger threat than Taliban”
- Fouad Ajami (Wall Street Journal): “Afghanistan and the decline of American power”
- Ann Marlowe (Wall Street Journal): “The man who might have been ‘king’”