ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has released three more senior Afghan Taliban leaders, official sources said late Tuesday.
“Yes three more Afghan Taliban leaders have been released,” an official source told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity.
“This is an ongoing process as part of efforts to facilitate reconciliation,” the source said.
Another identified the freed Taliban to be Mullah Abdul Ahad Jahangirwal, a former adviser of Mullah Omar, Mullah Abdul Manan, a former Taliban governor in Helmand and Mullah Younus, a former military commander.
The release came just few days after the government-backed peace negotiators visited Pakistan and met the senior Taliban leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
“These are very important personalities,” a Taliban leader told The Express Tribune when asked about the men.
Pakistan has also quietly freed ten other low-key Taliban detainees over the past few weeks, the Afghan Taliban claimed.
The number of freed Afghan Taliban since November has now crossed fifty.
Those quietly freed include Azeem Agha, former head of Kandahar Passport office, Muhammad Amin (Uruzgan), Sardar (Kandahar), Nematullah (Kandahar), Inamullah (Nangarahar), Janat gul (Baghlan), Adam Khan (Kandahar), Salahuddin (Khost), Syed Mehmood (Nangarhar), Engineer Mehmood (Nangarahar) and Hayatullah.
In September, Pakistan had released senior Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. While Pakistan says Baradar has been released, the Taliban claim that their former commander remains under house arrest and has not returned to his family.