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Taliban won’t negotiate unless its senior member release: Nabil

AT News

KABUL: Former Spy Chief, Rahmatullah Nabil said that the Taliban would not sit for talks with the government team until a senior member of the group was released.

“I think the Taliban will not start talks in Doha till the release of Haji Basheer Noorzai,” Nabil said in a tweet on Tuesday. “Considering the timing, perhaps Haji Bashar might be released this week.” Noorzai was in charge of the financial and drug trafficking affairs of the Taliban.

He said that US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad has guaranteed the release of Noorzai.

Noorzai was arrested on a trip to New York to negotiate a deal with the US officials. He was detained in the US for performing drug smuggling and providing funds for the Taliban. Noorzai was sentenced to prison for life in Guantanamo Bay.   

“All the key bargaining chips have been given away by Khalilzad,” Nabil said. “In order to promote himself, what will be the bargaining chips of the Republic?”

He believes that President Ashraf Ghani didn’t have a strategy to win the war “nor does he currently have a strategy to win the peace.”

However, the Taliban didn’t name a specific individual, a spokesman of the group said that prisoner swap process should be completed before intra-Afghan negotiations to be kicked off.

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