Afghan gov refuses to release “dangerous” Taliban prisoners

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KABUL, JUNE 20 / DNA / = The Afghan government has refused to release the Taliban prisoners who are accused of involvement in deadly attacks, a released demand by the Taliban as a pre-condition to starting the intra-Afghan negotiations, according to the reports.

The Afghan government had opposed the release of hundreds of Taliban prisoners and now western powers are backing the government’s refusal. These prisoners are accused of involvement in large-scale terrorist attacks including the 2017 car bomb attack at the Zanbaq square, the report said. Meanwhile, the NATO Secretary-General said that the release of prisoners is a part of the US-Taliban agreement and a precondition for the start of negotiations, and NATO expects progress to be made in this area.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said: “One part of this agreement, the US-Taliban agreement is… the release of prisoners on both sides.

That’s part of the agreement. That’s the way to create the conditions for intra-Afghan negotiations. And I’m absolutely certain that the only way to reach a political, sustainable, peaceful solution to the conflict in Afghanistan is to have an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process. Therefore, intra-Afghan negotiations are so important.” Meanwhile, the Taliban has set the release of the remaining 2,000 prisoners as a precondition for the start of intra-Afghan talks. “It will certainly not be possible to start Intra-Afghan talks in Afghanistan unless 2,000 prisoners are released from prison,” said Jalaluddin Shinwari, the Taliban’s attorney general.
Hurdles on the way of prisoner release are said to be unsolved. The obstacles to the release of prisoners are removed, the ground will be prepared for the start of negotiations. The Office of the National Security Council says that the release of Taliban prisoners is based on the President’s decree, taking into account the age, health status, and time of detention and that prisoners are not subject to the release process under any other circumstances. So far, more than 3,000 Taliban prisoners have been released. In the new phase, hundreds of other Taliban prisoners were released in the following days. Intra-Afghan Talks are said to begin by the end of this month, with the release of 5,000 prisoners.