A spokesperson of Afghan Taliban has confirmed that a top Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, has been released by the Pakistan government under the renewed negotiations between the relevant stakeholders – the United States of America (USA), Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Taliban. This paints a hopeful image for the peace process in Afghanistan because negotiations were denied by the Taliban due to absence of the USA in the talks. American involvement was important because much of the instability in the region is linked to America’s role in the area too.
President Donald Trump came into power with the aim to end the war in Afghanistan, which is a different strategy than the ones adopted by previous governments, which were to win the war. This alone has provided the relevant stakeholders, a better front to work with because the previous strategy was only resulting in the loss of innocent lives and cross border tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The release is a sign that negotiations are underway between the parties and a solution is being devised. The governments involved are also hopeful that the released commanders will act in favour of their agenda and help establish that an end to the war is needed. Afghanistan has suffered structural and institutional losses, along with Pakistan facing an influx of terrorists – the development of the area depends on the stability and the absence of extremism. Instead of losing lives on both sides, if negotiations can help achieve the desired outcomes, then this is definitely a step in the right direction. It is hoped that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar yield influence on the Afghan Taliban, especially since he served second in command after Mullah Omer, eight years ago.