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.
The detention of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar — second in the Taliban only to one-eyed Mullah Mohammed Omar — has raised new questions about whether the US is willing to back peace discussions with leaders who harbored the terrorists behind the September 11 attacks.
Karzai “was very angry" when he heard that the Pakistanis had picked up Baradar with an assist from US intelligence, the adviser said.
Besides the ongoing talks, he said Baradar had “given a green light’’ to participating in a three-day peace jirga that Karzai is hosting next month.
Other Afghan officials also confirmed talks between Baradar and the Afghan government. Several media reports have suggested that Baradar had been in touch with Karzai representatives, but these are the first details to emerge from the discussions.