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Pakistan releases top Afghan Taliban prisoner

ISLAMABAD – Pakistani officials say they have released their highest-ranking Afghan Taliban prisoner to jumpstart Afghanistan’s struggling peace process.

A Pakistani intelligence official and a security official say Mullah Baradar, the former deputy commander of the Taliban, was freed Saturday.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry announced earlier that Baradar would be released.

The Afghan government has repeatedly asked Pakistan to release Baradar and hopes he can help with peace negotiations. But some analysts and officials doubt he will make much of a difference.

Pakistan arrested Baradar under murky circumstances in a joint operation with the CIA in 2010 in the southern city of Karachi.

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