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Peace parley in limbo over prisoner swap

 ‘Afghan government and the Taliban need to reach an agreement to resolve controversies related to the Afghan peace bid’

AT News

KABUL: The reconciliation council calls on the government and Taliban to “peacefully resolve the problems over prisoner swap” as Ghani administration still insists on keeping 600 Taliban prisoners suspected of “big crimes”.

The Taliban refuse to hold talks with President Ghani, urging on the release of all 5,000 prisoners agreed in their peace deal with the US in February.

“Taliban should not insist on the matters that do not help peace process. If there is intention for peace, the subject should be urged that can help the peace process and get us closer to the intra-Afghan negotiations. Both government and Taliban need to reach an agreement to resolve all controversies related to peace,” Feraidoon Khozon, spokesman of the reconciliation council said Saturday.

4,400 Taliban prisoners have been so far released by the government, but Taliban want the freedom of all 5,000 insurgents.

Javid Faisal, spokesman of the national security council said that Taliban should present another list of their prisoners to the government to be released instead of the controversial 600 men.

“They (Taliban) should not make excuses to continue killing of Afghans for a few murderers,” said Faisal, referring to the 600 imprisoned insurgents.

Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman of the insurgent group said that they had progresses in the release of government prisoners, vowing to work more for peace process.

“The government should publicize the names of those imprisoned insurgents suspected for big crime and specify the kinds of their crimes. This will pressure Taliban,” said Faiz Mohammad Zaland, political analyst.

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