…alternative theories have emerged: One is that his capture is all part of a plan that will pave the way for him to enter Kabul and become the key figure in reconciling with moderate elements of the insurgency he once organized.
The other — and one that sharply contradicts initial assessments that Baradar’s capture exhibited Pakistan’s willingness to go after Taliban militants on its soil — is that Pakistan caught wind of Baradar’s role and swept in to forestall the process and detain him for questioning.
Journalist and regional expert Ahmed Rashid says that while on hajj last year in Saudi Arabia, Mullah Baradar met with Afghan and Saudi officials. Prior to this, Rashid claims, Baradar’s representatives held negotiations with President Karzai’s younger half-brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai, in southern Afghanistan — the area where the Taliban first emerged and that still provides a large number of its fighters and key leaders.
Rashid says diplomats and officials in Kabul speculate that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency “might have conducted this raid, because they have made it very clear to the Americans that any negotiations that are held between the Americans and the Taliban have to go through Pakistan.”
2010-02-19 16:05:41 UTC