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Afghanistan, the crucible of crisis; Taliban locks horns with Kabul over inmates’ release

Afghanistan has been engulfed in a turmoil of uncertainty and its peace process is in shreds. The irony of reconciling with the narco-belligerent, isolationist, troglodytic Taliban is becoming eerily daunting

KABUL: Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban group are at odds over the release of militant prisoners with no compromise in sight. Taliban office in Qatar has said its delegates will never participate in “counter-productive meetings” in Kabul afterwards.

Taliban’s spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, on Tuesday chastised the Afghan government for “making excuses about the release of prisoners”. He said the inmates should be released based on their peace agreement with the United States.

Because of that reason, he said, Taliban technical delegation will refrain from attending joint meetings with the Afghan officials.

Earlier in the day, chief of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance Matin Beig said that Taliban were demanding masterminds of terrorist attacks be freed. Beig said the Taliban technical team were calling for the release of specific prisoners, trying to have their commanders. “People who had staged several terrorist attacks on 400-bed hospital, intercontinental hotel and other places,” he said.

The United States and the Taliban signed a peace agreement on February 29th setting the motion for a much-awaited negotiation between the Afghan government and the militant group. The pact dictates a swap of 5,000 Taliban prisoners for 1,000 Afghan prisoners.

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