“But I don’t think Baradar will be assigned the kind of role that the US and Karzai administrations expect him to be given — to mediate between Kabul and the Taliban,” Yusufzai added.
Rather than benefiting peace talks, the releases have perhaps been limited to an attempt to rebuild trust between Kabul and Islamabad, whose relations are clouded by deep distrust.
Both trade blame over the Taliban militants threatening security in both countries, and Kabul accuses elements of the Pakistani state of funding, controlling and sheltering the Afghan Taliban.
Islamabad says publicly it will do anything to stop the fighting in Afghanistan.
“It will definitely send strong signals that Pakistan is contributing positively to the peace process,” retired Pakistani general Talat Masood said.
“However, this release is not likely to make any significant difference in the negotiating process,” he added.