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Taliban says prisoners ‘won’t rejoin battle’

AT News

KABUL: Amid a national criticism over release of hundreds of Taliban prisoners, the militant group has said its prisoners will not rekindle ties with terrorist networks and refrain from resuming fighting against Afghan forces.

Taliban Qatar-based political office’s spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, said on Saturday that there is no need for the prisoners to go back to war. “Our prisoners would go back home,” he said, “In the peace deal with United States, we have assured that our prisoners will not go back to war.”

This is as spokesperson to the National Security Council, Jawid Faisal, had earlier said that after completion of technical negotiations, the ground would be paved for prisoners’ release.

Kabul had promised to set free Taliban prisoners starting from March 31st; but the process was delayed due to disagreements between the two sides, Shaheen said.

The Afghan government emphasizes that the Taliban should agree on reduction of violence prior to intra-Afghan- talks, as the militants has been continuing attacks on the Afghan security forces.

Some military experts have expressed concerns over the possible comeback of the militants to the battlefields. Former deputy interior minister, Mirza Mohammad Yarmand said the Taliban have been continuing the attacks and their prisoners are simultaneously being released, how they can assure it, this is a concerned issue.”

A decision to free Taliban guerillas from Afghanistan prisons is also fueling concerns over a rebound of insurgency as the fighting has aggravated since a deal was brokered between the Taliban and the United States.

The Afghan government and Taliban have been working on prisoners’ exchange to pave the ground for intra-Afghan-talks. The US and Taliban on February 29th’s peace deal agreed on release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners in return for 1,000 Afghan Security Forces.

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