Pakistan to release Taliban's former second-in-command
September 11, 2013 -- Updated 1307 GMT (2107 HKT)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is shown at the prime minister's house in Islamabad on August 26.
- NEW: The Afghan Taliban welcomes plans to free Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar
- Baradar could be released as soon as this month, a Pakistani official says
- Baradar was captured in 2010 in Karachi, known as a haven for militants
- Pakistan's new government is making peace offerings to neighboring Afghanistan
Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- A senior Pakistani official says his country will release one of the founding members of the Afghan Taliban.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who's being held in a secret location, is a controversial member of the Afghan Taliban who used to be the organization's second-in-command, after Mullah Mohammed Omar himself.
Sartaj Aziz, an adviser to the Pakistani prime minister on national security and foreign affairs, said that Baradar could be released as soon as this month. Speaking to CNN, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, a spokesman for the Foreign Office, said: "We have decided in principle to release Mullah Baradar, and he will be released at an appropriate time."
Baradar was captured in 2010 in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, which is known to be a haven for many militants from across the country and its bordering regions.
This is the second peaceful overture by the newly elected Pakistani government to neighboring Afghanistan. On Saturday, it released seven Taliban figures to facilitate the peace process.
That release came just two weeks after Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited the capital of Islamabad and stressed Pakistan's assistance in a path to peace. Karzai has long pushed for Baradar's release; his government was suspected to be in secret talks with the wanted militant when he was captured.
The Afghan Taliban said that it welcomed the Pakistani government's plan to release Baradar and that it was assessing the wider situation.
"Pakistan's move to release seven top commanders at the weekend and plans to release Mullah Baradar is a positive development. We'll respond as things shape up over the coming days and weeks," spokesman Zabiullah Muajhid told CNN.
In a news conference held before Pakistan's announcement, Karzai spokesman Aimal Faizi said that Baradar's release would be "a positive step by the Pakistani side and would definitely be effective for the Afghan peace process."
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Meghan Gregonis, said Pakistan and Afghanistan should have proper coordination to "ensure releases are effected in a responsible manner."
Baradar had been under U.N. sanctions since February 2001, with his assets frozen and travel banned. The United Nations had forbidden selling weapons to him.
CNN's Zahir Shah Shirazi in Peshawar contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1900 GMT (0300 HKT)
Presidents and prime ministers, celebrities and royals joined tens of thousands of South Africans to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1235 GMT (2035 HKT)
President Obama pays tribute at the Mandela Memorial: "Mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done," he said.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 2311 GMT (0711 HKT)
Until he returned home this weekend, Merrill Newman -- an American held in North Korea -- had no idea what a story he'd become.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 0246 GMT (1046 HKT)
Transportation throughout the inhospitable Arctic region may soon be revolutionized.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1430 GMT (2230 HKT)
There were no genetic tests 400,000 years ago, so our ancient relatives didn't know as much about themselves as we know about them now.
Theme parks, sports stadiums, and city squares are among the most popular destinations that people checked into on Facebook in 2013.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1653 GMT (0053 HKT)
At a time when many have lost faith in the global financial system, Bitcoin is being hailed as the future of e-commerce.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1346 GMT (2146 HKT)
Actress Eleanor Parker, nominated for three Oscars and known for her "Sound of Music" role, died Monday at 91, her family said.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1249 GMT (2049 HKT)
Director and actor Charlie Chaplin made Virginia Cherrill perform one scene -- in which she says just two words in a silent film -- 342 times.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1118 GMT (1918 HKT)
Each volunteer at Yekokeb Berhan in Ethiopia will take in 25 disadvantaged children as her own.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1611 GMT (0011 HKT)
The Web is set to change our lives over the next decade. This will also question the use of personal data and balancing new powers with ethics.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 2123 GMT (0523 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see in news reports, taken by CNN teams all around the world.
He was imprisoned for life but that did not quiet him. Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president, and an icon and inspiration.
Today's five most popular stories