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Afghanistan releases 100 Taliban prisoners

KABUL: Government of Afghanistan has set free 100 Taliban prisoners following storms of criticism from the United States and the Taliban itself for constant delays to do so.

Reports suggest that the government has not freed fifteen Taliban commanders whom the Taliban demanded be freed too at the earliest. President Ghani said Tuesday Taliban prisoners would not be released on parole and that the process of releasing them would be time-consuming.

President’s advisor, Vahid Omar, has described the process as “far and wide”. He highlighted that there was no need to say that prisoners should be released for ten days without any conditions. Under what circumstances are we to do this, he posed.

The government’s release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners and the release of 1,000 government prisoners from Taliban prisons should have begun after the signing of a peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban to begin talks between Afghans.

The process hit the skids because of certain preconditions which were posed by the both sides about the swap. This is as no end seems in sight to the violence perpetrated by the Taliban.

The Taliban office in Qatar had earlier said it would pull its delegates out of Afghanistan from “counter-productive” dialogue on prisoner exchange – an agreement that was reached after a Taliban peace deal with the United States.

Taliban’s spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, on Tuesday chastised the Afghan government for “making excuses about the release of prisoners”. He said the inmates should be released based on their peace agreement with the United States.

Because of that reason, he said, Taliban technical delegation will refrain from attending joint meetings with the Afghan officials.

Earlier in the day, chief of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance Matin Beig said that Taliban were demanding masterminds of terrorist attacks be freed. Beig said the Taliban technical team were calling for the release of specific prisoners, trying to have their commanders. “People who had staged several terrorist attacks on 400-bed hospital, intercontinental hotel and other places,” he said.

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