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.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Experts believe that ISIS may be using a Spanish enclave to bring jihad to Europe.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
With an efficient subway, inexpensive taxis and a good public bus system, Hong Kong is normally an easy city to navigate ...
September 28, 2014 -- Updated 2332 GMT (0732 HKT)
CNN's Ivan Watson was in the middle of a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong when things got out of hand.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 2012 GMT (0412 HKT)
The world's animal population has halved in 40 years as humans put unsustainable demands on Earth, a new report warns.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1249 GMT (2049 HKT)
Every day, refugees and migrants risk their lives as they seek a new life. Now, a new report puts a figure to the number of victims.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1442 GMT (2242 HKT)
Mainstream commentators must promote positive role models to Muslims feeling victimized, writes Ghaffar Hussain.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 0613 GMT (1413 HKT)
Two men familiar with inside knowledge of ISIS speak with CNN's Arwa Damon.
Explore CNN's interactive that explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2010 GMT (0410 HKT)
In his first-ever interview as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 1503 GMT (2303 HKT)
The North Korean leader hasn't been seen for weeks, leading to speculation that he is in poor health.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0154 GMT (0954 HKT)
Haider al-Abadi hopes airstrikes don't lead to "of another terrorist element" instead of ISIS.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
The United States couldn't do it on its first try. Neither could the Soviets.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
CNN's Nima Elbagir reflects on a harrowing trip to Liberia where she covered the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Contrary to public opinion, rats can actually save lives -- Apopo's rats have actually saved thousands.
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 1255 GMT (2055 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.