KABUL: Government of Afghanistan has released another batch of Taliban prisoners after three batches of 300 inmates were set free over past week, according to officials.
The National Security Council has published pictures of the freed prisoners, saying the Taliban inmates have been released based on their age, prison term and health conditions. The NSC said these prisoners were released as part of peace efforts and health worries related to coronavirus.
The National Security Council has said the government will be freeing 100 prisoners in separate batches in a continuous manner.
Prior to the release, prisoners give testaments and take oath that they will not join the battlefield. They also undergo a biometric screening.
This is as president’s advisor, Vahid Omar, had early said the process will be time taking. He highlighted that there was no need to say that prisoners should be released for ten days without any conditions. Under what circumstances are we to do this, he posed.
The government’s release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners and the release of 1,000 government prisoners from Taliban prisons should have begun after the signing of a peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban to begin talks between Afghans.
The process hit the skids because of certain preconditions which were posed by the both sides about the swap. This is as no end seems in sight to the violence perpetrated by the Taliban.
The Taliban office in Qatar had earlier said it would pull its delegates out of Afghanistan from “counter-productive” dialogue on prisoner exchange – an agreement that was reached after a Taliban peace deal with the United States.
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.