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ISLAMABAD: In what appeared to be the New Year gift to the US and Afghanistan, Pakistan on Monday released another batch of Afghan Taliban detainees in order to facilitate the ongoing process of reconciliation.


Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Ahmad Khan confirmed this in a statement here saying that Pakistan released eight Taliban detainees in order to further facilitate the Afghan reconciliation process.


The batch of released Taliban members also includes high-ranking leaders but the Taliban second-in-command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is not among those who were freed on Monday. Bardar has been the prime demand of the Afghan government and the High Peace Council, which they termed a key member to facilitate the reconciliation process.


According to the spokesman released Taliban detainees including Abdul Bari, ex-Governor Helmund, Nur-ud-Din Turabi, ex Justice Minister, Allah  Daad Tabib, ex Minister, Mullah Daud Jan, ex Governor Kabul, and ex Governor Mir Ahmed Gul.


Last month too, Moazzam said that Pakistan released 18 Taliban prisoners on request of the Afghan High Peace Council. With this, the number of Taliban detainees reached to 26.


Independent analysts describe the release of more Taliban leaders as New Year gift to both Washington and Kabul, which would further facilitate the reconciliation process meant for bringing the Afghan insurgents in the mainstream political process.


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