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Afghan Peace Negotiator Praises Pakistan's Role In Taliban Prisoner Release

Peace envoy Salahuddin Rabbani
A top peace negotiator in Afghanistan has praised a decision by neighboring Pakistan to free nine Taliban militants who favor peace talks.

Salahuddin Rabbani, the head of Afghanistan's High Peace Council, said the move was a sign that Islamabad is willing to involve the militant group in ending Afghanistan's 11-year war.

Rabbani was speaking following a four-day trip to Pakistan to oversee the release of the nine Taliban members and push for additional militants to be freed.

In the past, Afghanistan has accused Pakistan of seeking to shelter insurgents, a charge Islamabad has denied.

The Afghan Taliban on November 17 welcomed the release of their compatriots, who are reported to include several former regional governors, the former Taliban justice minister, and a special assistant to Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa