Taliban not keen on shifting of Gitmo prisoners
KABUL: The Taliban, opposing to the transfer of inmates from one jail to another, on Tuesday renewed their demand for a prisoner exchange.
Militant spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, told Pajhwok Afghan News shifting Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to an Afghan detention facility could not pave the way for peace talks.
He added:"Our demand is the release of prisoners and we have expressed our readiness for an exchange of prisoners. Our prisoners are very valuable to us, but the problem is the US doesn't value its soldiers.''
Commenting on peace negotiations with the US, he said they stuck to the position they took while suspending talks with American officials.
In early January, the Taliban announced to open a political bureau in Doha for possible peace talks with Washington, a move supported both by Kabul and the US government.
But in February, the Taliban pull out of the talks, accusing Americans failed to honour their promises – among other was the release of several top Taliban leaders held at the military prison in Guantanamo.
Quoting unnamed sources, a US news agency reported last week in Washington that American officials were mulling to transfer Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo to Afghanistan, aimed at breaking the stalemate.
US plans to transfer several prisoners arrested during the beginning of their operation in Afghanistan in 2001, to Kabul, as these detainees may not pose any threat, added the report.
It said the US was keen to restart peace dialogue with the Taliban and were ready to accept one of the movements’ demands involving release of the prisoners.
Former Taliban Planning Minister, Din Mohammad, during an interview with NHK television channel of Japan, had said they were ready to negotiate with the Americans if their demands were accepted.
Without revealing details, he pointed out that peace talks were hampered due to the delay in releasing the prisoners.--(PAN)
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