Hamid Gailani, Chairman of Mahaz-e-Milli party, said at a press conference in Kabul on Tuesday there was no truth in claims that he tried to secure the release of Anas Haqqani, who is in an Afghan prison.
He also said insurgents have released 14 Afghan security force members who were held captive for two days by the insurgents in Janekhil district of eastern Paktia province. This came about due to the mediation efforts by the Mangal tribe.
Anas Haqqani, one of the leaders of the Haqqani network, was captured with Hafiz Rashid another leader of the network in October 2014 in Bahrain and then sent to Qatar before being transferred to Kabul.
He was traveling in the Persian Gulf to visit the brother of Hafiz Rashid, Nabi Omari, who had been released from Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for the only US soldier in Taliban captivity.
On Saturday, Gailani said that most Taliban leaders are in Afghanistan and that they want to negotiate, also with other countries involved.
After Gailani’s claim, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) in a statement on Monday condemned his remarks and said that it was “irresponsible”.
“The Taliban leaders are on the other side of the Durand Line and are in large cities in Pakistan and the International Community also accepted this now,” the statement said.
But when reporters on Tuesday again asked Gailani for details over his claim regarding the whereabouts of Taliban leaders, he refused to comment and said “that was said a few days ago and now I have nothing to say about it.”
Gailani’s claims come after Rahmatullah Nabil, former Afghan intelligence chief wrote on his Facebook page that “the recent remarks of “Gailani” is not new!”
“Frequently, army and Pakistan’s intelligence members made such statements for misleading the minds of the international community. Only this time with the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, (Pakistan) want to say the same statements from the voice of Gailani to the world,” he wrote.
“Gailani has several times brought “Shir Khan” from Islamabad who is one of the persons of Haqqani network with his vehicle with the cooperation and direction of National Unity Government’s (NUG) key member in Kabul,” he said, adding that “this comes while government knows exactly that most suicide attacks are carried out by Haqqani network in Kabul but their responsibility lies with so-called Daesh!”
But Gailani rejected Nabil's claim "totally" and said that he is not using vehicles when traveling to Pakistan which he says "shows clearly that is not true."