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Some foreign countries unhappy with Taliban prisoners’ release

AT News

KABUL: The high council for national reconciliation, a government-run body responsible for peace efforts, says that some foreign states are not happy with the release of 400 Taliban prisoners from government custody.

President Ghani issued an order to release all the 400 inmates the Loya Jirga called to be freed last week. But only 80 of them have been so far freed.

France is one of the countries who opposes the release of the 400 prisoners called by President Ghani as “dangerous mmen”, saying that the prisoners had hands in the killing of French nationals in Afghanistan.

The Reuters cites a French diplomat expressing concerns on the release of 400 prisoners.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that he would do his best to prevent the release of a former Afghan army service member who is in prison for the charge of killing three Australian troops. The soldier defected to Taliban after killing the Australian troops and is now in government prison.

Feraidoon Khozon, spokesman of the reconciliation council said Sunday that the process of Taliban prisoners’ release was going on and Kabul is in touch with the countries who have their observations.

“There are protests over some of the prisoners. But we want that the intra-Afghan negotiations should not be postponed and the government of Afghanistan works hard to resolve this problem somehow not to either waste the time for peace nor sour relations with our friends.”

According to government sources, Taliban still have 20 Afghan commandos in custody. Taliban have said they would keep the commandos unless the government releases all their 400 comrades.

“I am sorry that I am in a country where foreigners try to prevent the release of prisoners for killing 10 to 15 foreigners, while thousands of Afghans were killed and we continue releasing Taliban prisoners,” said Niloofar Ibrahimi, a member of parliament.

The US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Peace, Zalmay Khalilzad however urges the two sides to accelerate peace efforts and start intra-Afghan talks as soon as possible.

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