KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani has vowed to complete the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners in the near time. “With this action, we look forward to the start of direct negotiations with the Taliban in a week’s time,” President Ghani said this in his address to the fourth Senior Officials Meeting (SOM), held in Kabul on Tuesday.
President Ghani said there were 10,708 casualties among the Afghan security forces, in which 3,560 forces were “martyred” between February 29th (date when the US signed a peace agreement with Taliban), until July 21.
Another 6,781 members of the security forces were wounded and some others were kidnapped or unaccounted, the president added.
Your condemnation of senseless violence and strong voice in support of a humanitarian ceasefire and start of direct negotiations between us and the Taliban is reassuring to our people and security organizations and the active engagement of the media, the Ulama and civil society organizations has created the enabling conditions to have a comprehensive strategy to make measurable and sustained progress against corruption, he added.
Iconic cases, such as that of Karam-ud-din Karam and the wall at our Washington Embassy need immediate action and I request our international partners to sent experts to the Attorney General’s office to jointly investigate the case of the wall and allegations against the Ministry of Health and provincial governors in the use of funds allocated for dealing with the threat of Covid-19, he added.
“I will suspend and help prosecute any official engaged in corruption or abuse of authority. I call on the people of Panjshir and Dr. Abdullah to expel Mr. Karam from the valley or assist the security forces to enforce the law of the land,” he added.
To demonstrate the government’s commitment to peace, the Islamic Republic will soon complete the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners as part of the exchange with ANDSF prisoners. “With this action, we look forward to the start of direct negotiations with the Taliban in a week’s time” Ghani said.
“We call on the Taliban to join us at the negotiating table and to conclude promptly there a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire commitment to a ceasefire during the coming ‘Eid will be an indication of things to come,” the president added.