The Taliban’s top military commander was captured several days ago in Karachi, Pakistan, in a secret joint operation by Pakistani and American intelligence forces, according to American government officials.We have seen head-fakes by the Pakistanis before, but we should take this for the good it is.
The commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is an Afghan described by American officials as the most significant Taliban figure to be detained since the American-led war in Afghanistan started more than eight years ago. He ranks second in influence only to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Taliban’s founder and a close associate of Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11 attacks.
“Mullah Omar has put Baradar in charge,” says Mullah Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, the former Taliban regime’s foreign minister, who first met both men in 1992, during the last days of the Soviet-backed regime. “It is Mullah Omar’s idea and his policy to stay quiet in a safe place, because he has a high price on his head, while Baradar leads.”
Many happy returns.