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Kabul pushes back against release of more Taliban prisoners

In a strange twist of events surrounding Afghanistan’s peace quest, the Taliban are pushing for the release of more prisoners. But Afghan government is taking a tough line against it, saying such ‘strange’ demands will risk complicating peace negotiations

AT News

KABUL: Afghanistan’s government has pushed back against a Taliban demand for the release of more militant inmates, arguing such ‘odd’ statements would complicate the fragile yet rejuvenated peace process in Afghanistan.

The Taliban who met the US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on Thursday demanded the release of more prisoners by the Afghan government.

But, president’s spokesman Seddiq Seddiqi has heaped scorns at the Taliban for making outrageous demands at such sensitive times.

“What the Taliban have said and done has sabotaged the peace process; continuation of violence and strange statements and even raising the issue of prisoners further complicates the peace process,” he said on Friday.

The Afghan government has released 5,000 Taliban prisoners before the start of intra-Afghan talks, and the Taliban have released more than 1,000 Afghan security forces from their captivity.

The release of the inmates was based on a peace deal signed between the United States and the Taliban in February, which set motion for long-sought peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

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