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Kabul scrutinizes Taliban detainees to avoid their rebound after release

AT News

KABUL: Amid a rift between the Afghan government and the Taliban over jailed militants, the National Security Council on Sunday said the government is scrutinizing list of Taliban detainees to ensure that they would not resume fighting.

NSC spokesman Javed Faisal said that Kabul wanted to make sure that the insurgents would be working with the government to find a solution to the war and that’s why their prisoners will be scrutinized before their release.

“We want the Taliban to work with the government under a mechanism that will set their prisoners free and push the peace process forward,” he said, “We have set forth a mechanism for the peace process to move forward.”

Faisal said it was time for the Taliban to decide whether “to remain part of the problem or become part of the solution”.

The first batch of Taliban militants was to be released on Sunday but rifts between the government and the rebels over the release mechanism delayed a start to the process. Last week, President Ghani ordered the gradual release of Taliban fighters held in government-controlled prisons. The Presidential Palace on Wednesday announced starting the process of releasing 1,500 Taliban prisoners as ‘a goodwill gesture’, but warned of halting it if the rebels did not reduce violence.

The prisoner swap is a key clause of the US-Taliban peace pact, which was signed in Doha on February 29. However, Ghani initially balked at implementing the clause.

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