Pakistan has released two Taliban members from prison during this week, apparently as a part of U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad’s efforts for peace in Afghanistan.
According to two Taliban officials who have spoken with the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity, Abdul Samad Sani, a U.S. designated terrorist who served as the head of Afghanistan’s Central Bank during Taliban’s era, and a lower-ranking commander named Salahuddin, were released by Pakistan on Monday.
Mullah Abdul Samad Sani was arrested in 2016 along with Suleman Agha in Balochistan province of Pakistan.
Khalilzad is on his second regional tour since being appointed as U.S. envoy to find a way to push forward the Afghan Peace Process. He has traveled to Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. During his tours, Khalilzad has met with the leaders of the Afghan government, several influential politicians in Afghanistan as well as Taliban representatives in Doha, the capital of Qatar.
When Khalilzad was last in regional Pakistan released Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a senior Taliban leader.
The new development comes after a delegation of Taliban attended an international conference on Afghanistan in Moscow where they emphasized on withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and direct talks between the insurgent group and Washington.
The Afghan government denied sending an official representative to Moscow conference though a delegation from Afghanistan’s High Peace Council attended the summit.