KABUL: The Taliban has emphasized on the release of their prisoners from Afghan government custody in a bid to start the intra-Afghan talks. The Taliban also accused the Afghan government of forging identities and criminal records of the inmates to sabotage the peace process.
A Taliban Qatar-Based Member, Mohammad Nabi Omari, said that based on US–Taliban peace deal, the dossiers of these prisoners should be probed.
“Opposing the release of Taliban prisoners by some foreign countries is a clear interference into internal affairs of Afghanistan,” Mr. Omari said.
The militants insisted on release of their 5,000 prisoners agreed in a peace deal signed between the US Special Envoy Zalamay Khalilzad and the Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on February 29th in Doha, after marathon peace negotiations.
The government said that it has freed over 4,000 Taliban prisoners but the 592 inmates, who are behind big crimes, would not be released. Off around 800 Afghan security forces freed by the Taliban, the government said that 175 of them were civilians.
Shuhabuddin Dilawar, another member of the militants’ Qatar based office said, “government is responsible for all bloody situation in the past four months, it should have freed our 5,000 prisoners by March 15th ; we were ready to release 1,000 of prisoner (Afghan security forces) within 10 days.”
The militants said that violence would be continuing until a ceasefire was discussed in the intra-Afghan negotiations, whose exact venue and date have not been clarified by any side yet.
Another senior member of the Taliban, Nurollah Nuri said that the present level of violence would be continuing as there was no ceasefire agreed between the government and Taliban.
The US-Taliban deal included 80 percent reduction in violence however the Taliban appears unabated to decrease violence.