A major setback to the retalibanization of Afghanistan, and evidence that the recent calling of Pakistan to account is having some effect, at least in the short term. From Reuters, :
ISLAMABAD/KABUL (Reuters) – Pakistani security forces have captured a high-ranking Taliban leader in the southwestern city of Quetta, a senior Pakistani security official and Taliban sources said on Thursday.
The capture of Mullah Obaidullah Akhund marked the first time Pakistan had arrested a senior leader of the Islamist militia since it was driven from power in
Afghanistan in 2001, and thousands of its fighters fled into Pakistan.
The security official, who requested anonymity, and the Taliban sources said Akhund, the third most senior member of the Taliban’s 10-member leadership council, was arrested late on Monday, hours after a surprise visit to Pakistan by U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney.
The head of the Interior Ministry’s Crisis Management Unit, retired Brigadier Javed Iqbal Cheema, denied Akhund had been detained when asked by Reuters.
Aside from being on the leadership council, headed by Mullah Mohammad Omar, Akhund was defense minister in the Taliban government before it fell.