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Ghani-Abdullah at odds over Taliban prisoner release

AT News

KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the long-run antagonist who incongruently runs the country’s affairs, are once again at odds over the Taliban prisoners release process.

The latest confrontation went off after Abdullah, the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation had expressed willingness to release 600 Taliban prisoners as part of peace efforts. But they are charged for moral crimes, including rape cases and the government rejected their release.

The Presidential Palace said that 600 Taliban prisoners involved on big crimes such as murdering and robbery, including rape charges, would not be freed, but Abdullah had emphasized on completion of prisoners swap to lay out intra-Afghan negotiations. Achieving peace and ending the longest war is the priority of Afghanistan, Abdullah said.

“The prisoner swap between the two sides is going on,” he added. “Afghanistan is committed to completing the process.” He condemned the Taliban attacks and called on the militants to take significant steps for reduction in violence.

Javid Faisal, a spokesman for the National Security Council demanded the Taliban to send a new list of their prisoners with less crime rates.

The release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners in exchange for 1,000 Afghan security forces was agreed in a peace deal signed between the US and Taliban on February 29th in Doha. The agreement also included the intra-Afghan negotiations to be held within a ten-day period of time after the US- Taliban deal. But the direct negotiations have been delayed as the Taliban insisted on release of their all prisoners as a precondition for the talks.

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