Karzai “very angry” at Baradar’s arrest

The news doing the rounds currently is that Karzai is infuriated at Mullah Baradar’s arrest at the hands of Pakistan. I have previously commented on the arrest here and here.

The admission by one of Karzai’s aides is in line with the opinions in the previous posts and also points at the possibilty of Baradar falling out with Mullah Omar and being shown the way of Mullah Dadullah (arrested by Pakistan in 2008). Publicly, they have resisted expressing full blown anger at Pakistan because it puts them in an awkward position. How can they publicly express anger at the arrest of a high ranking Taliban?The admission by Karzai’s adviser can be read here
Some quotes from the above,

KABUL – The Afghan government was holding secret talks with the Taliban’s No. 2 when he was captured in Pakistan, and the arrest infuriated President Hamid Karzai, according to one of Karzai’s advisers.

Far from expressing gratitude, members of Karzai’s administration were quick to accuse Pakistan of picking up Baradar either to sabotage or gain control of talks with the Taliban leaders.

Karzai won’t discuss his administration’s talks with Taliban members or their representatives, but several Afghan officials confirmed that his government was in discussions with Baradar, who hails from Karzai’s Popalzai tribe of the Durrani Pashtuns in Kandahar.

“The government has been negotiating with Mullah Baradar, who took an offer to the Taliban shura,” Shamsi said, using the word for the group’s governing board.

Shamsi said he’d seen intelligence reports indicating that Omar resisted the offer and that Baradar’s rivals within the Taliban leadership were fiercely opposed to any negotiations with the Afghan government.

An intelligence official in southern Afghanistan, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk with journalists, said there were reports that Omar was angry about Baradar’s negotiations with the government and asked Pakistani intelligence officials to arrest him.

Some analysts claim Pakistan wanted to interrupt Karzai’s reconciliation efforts or force Karzai to give Islamabad a seat at a future negotiating table.

Another theory is that Baradar, deemed more pragmatic than other top Taliban leaders, was detained to split him from fellow insurgents. McChrystal said recently that it was plausible that Baradar’s arrest followed an internal feud and purge among Taliban leaders.

There’s also speculation that Baradar’s arrest was just lucky — even unintentional.


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