Many years after oust of a right-wing dictatorship and retrograde regime of the Taliban, delegates of the now-reconcilable group have come to Kabul to see to a release of their prisoners
KABUL: Although nearly two decades have passed since the collapse of Taliban regime, Afghanistan has been in a whirl of violent extremism and insurgency and endured nearly as many years of unbroken warfare.
The positive ramifications of a hectic reconciliation effort started to unfold when a group of Taliban delegates has touched down in Kabul reportedly to oversee the release of Taliban prisoners.
Many years after oust of a right-wing dictatorship and retrograde regime of the Taliban, delegates of the now-reconcilable group have come to Kabul as part of a U.S.-Taliban peace deal.
This decision was made during a video conference between the government and the Taliban on Wednesday, said the National Security Council. It said 100 Taliban prisoners will be set free on humanitarian grounds – including health, age and vulnerability to COVID19 – by March 31 after guarantees by Taliban and the prisoners that they will not re-enter the fight.
In a statement, the National Security Council said strict measures have been adopted to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in prisons.
This is as violence has intensified as more than 23 soldiers were killed just on Monday in Taliban attacks as militants are ratcheting up their terror campaign amid Kabul’s refusal to immediately free hundreds of insurgent prisoners.
Zabihullah Mujahid had said on Friday that the team will be brought to Kabul by the ICRC on Saturday. But the delegates will be coming in a later date “because of technical issues”.
The Taliban have demanded the release of 5,000 of their militants in return for the release of 1,000 captives, including Afghan government officials and security personnel. Kabul insists on releasing them in phases along with intra-Afghan talks and a ceasefire in place.
This is as Afghanistan is facing a spike in violence, with more than 60 deaths among security forces reported since Sunday as the Taliban militants have increased their terror attacks across the country. The intensity and scope of attacks have increased over past week.
The fragile Afghan peace process faced deadlocks as differences persisted between Kabul and the Taliban over a proposed exchange of prisoners. There are 12,000-15,000 inmates, including foreigners from Pakistan, Central Asia and Gulf countries, in different prisons across Afghanistan.