News Columns & Blogs

Was arrest of Taliban leader a bad thing?

The arrest of the Taliban's top military commander by Pakistani and U.S. agents, and the arrests this week of two other senior Taliban leaders, have brought some mixed reactions. U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke (in photo) commended the Pakistanis for their role in the arrest of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and the "deepening cooperation between us." But there also is concern that Baradar's arrest might hurt the Afghan government's reconciliation efforts with the Taliban, which the United States has supported. Baradar was the only top Taliban leader supportive of peace negotiations, one Afghan leader told the New York Times. Some are also suggesting that Pakistan captured Baradar because it wanted to be part of the negotiations.