KABUL: Giving a lightly stead step to the fragile Afghan peace process, the government and Taliban have been engaged in swapping prisoners on daily bases as part of the US-Taliban peace deal signed on February 29th in Qatari capital Doha.
Local officials in western Herat on Friday spoke about the release of 17 Afghan Security Forces by Taliban.
“The Afghan Security Forces, who are the figures of bravery and heroism and spent a longtime in enemy’s custody away from their families, have been welcomed and praised by the provincial governor,” the provincial governor’s office said in a statement.
The inmates have been the first batch freed by the militants in western Herat province.
After months of pressure by Washington, the Afghan government has freed hundreds of Taliban prisoners in an average of 100 inmates per day to fulfill the US-Taliban peace agreement. In return for their hundreds of prisoners’ release, the militants have thus far freed at least 150 Afghan Security Forces.
To cease reduction in violence and engaged in peace talks with the Afghan government, the Taliban have been insisting on release of their 5,000 prisoners held in government’s prisons.
The US peace special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad has recently kicked of its regional tripe to Qatar, India and Pakistan to discuss next phases of the Afghan peace process.