It may have been called a lucky break at the time, but Pakistan now says that the arrest of the Taliban’s No. 2, Abdul Ghani Baradar, seven months ago was in fact a deliberate attempt to shut down peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. It all went according to plan: Pakistan followed Baradar's arrest by detaining 23 other Taliban leaders it had previously protected and effectively shut down talks. It’s possible, too, that Pakistan unwittingly used the CIA to aid its plan. Pakistan’s goal was not so much to cripple the Taliban as to retain control over it. “We protect the Taliban. They are dependent on us. We are not going to allow them to make a deal with Karzai and the Indians,” one source tells The New York Times.
Correction: This item originally stated, incorrectly, that Mullah Muhammad Omar has been arrested. In fact it was Abdul Ghani Baradar.