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First Anniversary of US-Taliban Deal; Taliban Demand Release of All Prisoners

AT News

KABUL: After one year of a peace deal with the United States, Taliban militants demand the release of their all comrades held in government custody. The US diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad signed the peace deal with Taliban’s co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on February 28, 2020 in the Persian Gulf’s Arab state of Qatar. The insurgent group says that the deal practically paved the ground for security and stability in Afghanistan.

Release of thousands of imprisoned insurgents from Afghan government jails was part of the deal. The government released 5,000 of them including 400 most dangerous ones with the aim to encourage the militants to join peace talks. But the militants say it was not enough and want the release of 7,000 more insurgents. Many of the released insurgents have retaken arms to fight against government forces, according to reports.

The militants said Sunday that freedom of the rest of insurgents from government custody and the removal of their leaders’ names from UN black list were important parts of their deal with the US which were not implemented.

The group said in a statement that they remain adherent to all articles of the agreement, calling on the US to be sticky to their commitments as well.

The insurgents warned that any alternatives to the US peace agreement were already seen as failed.

“A large part of the foreign forces have left Afghanistan and the remaining soldiers should also leave the country as slated,” the statement said.

They called on Qatar and other countries observing the peace deal to fulfill their responsibility for the implementation of the agreement.

In addition to the United States, other NATO members who have troops in Afghanistan especially Germany have said to keep troops in the war-hit country beyond May, arguing that Taliban did not reduce violence and another war was highly likely once they pull their soldiers out of the country in spring of 2021.

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