Haji Bashar Noorzai meeting Taliban foreign minister Amir Khan Mutaqi in Kabul: Photo taken from Twitter

Monitoring Desk:

Haji Bashar Noorzai, a key Taliban leader and a close aide of Taliban’s late supreme leader Maulavi Muhammad Omar has been released by the United States. Noorzai has arrived in Kabul, the Afghan capital and was received by Taliban leaders.

The US had picked up Haji Bashar Noorzai 18 years back and kept him at Guantanamo Bay for 18 years. “Honorable Haji Bashir was released after two decades of imprisonment and arrived in Kabul today,” said Mohammad Naeem, a Taliban spokesperson based in Doha, in a Tweet.

Bashir Noorzai, an Afghan tribal leader, was arrested in 2005 and charged with smuggling more than $50 million worth of heroin into the United States. Haji Bashar Noorzai’s name came into the international limelight soon after the catastrophic incident of September 11, 2001. Noorzai was considered to be one of the main leaders of the movement now ruling over Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US troops last year.

Noorzai’s lawyer later denied his client was a drug dealer and argued the charges should be dismissed because US government officials duped him into believing he would not be arrested.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.