Pakistan confirmed for the first time Wednesday that it has the Afghan Taliban's No. 2 leader in custody, and officials said he was providing useful intelligence that was being shared with the United States.
The confirmation came as the Pakistani government defused a political crisis that threatened to distract from the fight against militancy by backing off on judicial appointments opposed by the Supreme Court.
The Afghan Taliban leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, was arrested earlier this month in a joint operation by CIA and Pakistani security forces in the southern port city of Karachi, US and Pakistani officials said on condition of anonymity Tuesday. The army on Wednesday gave the first public confirmation of the arrest.