Afghan authorities released a television talk show host critical of the government following an outcry in the media over his detention, which lasted two days, an official said Thursday.

Nasir Fayaz, who hosted a weekly show called "Truth" on the private Ariana Television Network, was freed Wednesday, said Abdul Qadir Mirzai, a spokesman for the station.

Afghan intelligence agents detained Fayaz on Monday after the government alleged that he made "baseless accusations" against two ministers and called for his prosecution.

On Sunday, Fayaz''s show was taken off the air after Ariana received a phone call from an intelligence service agent ordering them to stop the broadcast, Mirzai said.

Fayaz was not mistreated during his time in custody, Mirzai said. The talk show host''s detention drew the attention of media organizations such as the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, which called the situation "disturbing."

After Fayaz''s detention, the chief government spokesman accused Afghanistan''s private media of coming under the influence of foreign countries. Humayun Hamidzada claimed Tuesday that some foreign countries were trying to influence events in Afghanistan by financing media outlets.

"They want to attack the people of Afghanistan and the government of Afghanistan using these media," Hamidzada said, without naming any country or any media company.

It was unclear if he was referring to foreign governments and organizations, mostly from the West, that provide aid in the form of grants and training to Afghan media networks, or possibly to neighboring countries such as Pakistan or Iran.

Kabul has accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan — a charge the government in Islamabad denies.

Hamidzada claimed that some Afghan media ran editorials sent by e-mail from abroad, but provided no examples or evidence.

Since the fall of the Taliban regime following the U.S.-led invasion in late 2001, private media have flourished in Afghanistan and have been touted as part of the success story of the country''s new democracy. Television and music were banned during the Taliban rule.

But religious conservatives often bristle over the content, including women singing on TV or presenting the news, and the government has not always taken kindly to criticism of its performance.