Several key Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan leaders and key Afghan Taliban commanders have been released from prisons across Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of the country this weekend.
Of these militants one of the most recognized names is Maulana Faqir Mohammad, the former deputy chief of the the TTP. Scenes of his release have been circulating on social media. His release was confirmed in a statement by a TTP spokesperson. Faqir has publicly stated that he has close ties to Al Qaeda chief Ayman al Zawahiri.
Other key commanders released by the Taliban include Baitullah Mehsud’s driver Commander Zali, Waqas Mehsud, Hamza Mehsud, Zarqawi Mehsud, Zaitullah Mehsud, Qari Hameedullah Mehsud, Dr Hameed Mehsud and Mazhar Mehsud.
Earlier, journalist Anis-ur-Rehman claimed in a tweet that the Afghan Taliban had so far released about 2,300 key TTP commanders and leaders from Waziristan, Sargodha, Swat and Bajaur.
Maulana Faqir Mohammad, a former deputy chief of the Harakat-e-Taliban, was arrested along with his accomplices in the Afghan province of Kunar in 2013, but was transferred to Bagram prison in 2018.
Faqir Mohammad and 200 other Pakistani and Afghan Taliban prisoners were held in the same barracks in the former US-occupied prison.
Maulvi Faqir Mohammad was known as the largest commander of banned organizations in Bajaur Agency in the days when al-Qaeda and other foreign fighters had a strong presence in the tribal areas.