In Taliban Commander's Capture, a Coup for Pakistan

Mullah Baradur's arrest likely to complicate Taliban peace talks
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2010 5:20 AM CST
In Taliban Commander's Capture, a Coup for Pakistan
A member of the U.S. Army 1-6 Field Artillery division speaks with village elders in Afghanistan. Afghan elders warn that Mullah Baradur's capture is a pivotal moment in peace negotiations.   (Getty Images)

The capture of the Taliban's military commander is a major coup for Pakistan that is likely to win the country a bigger say in Afghanistan's future, analysts say. Pakistani officials had complained that they were being excluded from American negotiations with the Afghan Taliban. But with Mullah Baradar in their hands, those lines of communication now go through Pakistan, experts tell the New York Times.

American and Afghan officials say that Baradar's capture is likely to complicate the reconciliation process. The commander "was the only person intent on or willing for peace negotiations," a Kandahar official involved in the talks says. He, and other Afghan officials, believe that Baradar may be able to persuade other Taliban to give up the fight, but warn that it will only strengthen the militants' resolve if they believe he is being mistreated.
(More Pakistan stories.)

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