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Taliban delegates touch down in Kabul for prisoner talks

AT News

KABUL: A three-member delegation of Taliban arrived Tuesday in Kabul to take those comrades planned to be released by the government.

“They (the delegation) will monitor the release of prisoners and will take technical steps,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban Spokesman said on Twitter.

The government has not yet commented on the arrival of Taliban representatives in Kabul. The delegation was supposed to come to capital on Friday, but their visit was delayed due to unknown reasons.

The delegation was first announced to consist of 10 people, but Mujahid said that the number decreased due to fears of the Corona virus and because Kabul was in quarantine. Maulavi Ziauddin leads the delegate.

The government and Taliban had earlier agreed to start the release on Tuesday, but it was postponed.

Javid Faisal, spokesman of the national security council, said that Taliban prisoners would not be released on Tuesday. The process of the release is to begin after a face to face negotiation between Taliban and government representatives in Kabul.

Taliban demanded the release of 5,000 of their colleagues held by government as a precondition to start peace negotiations with President Ghani’s government after the militants signed a peace deal with the United States late February.

Ghani agreed to release the Taliban inmates conditionally and gradually. As the first step, 100 prisoners are planned to be released and the rest would be freed in groups.

Ghani had said the release would be carried out after Taliban promise that they would not go back to war fronts against security forces.

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