Afghan Government Postpones Taliban Prisoner Releases, Endangering Peace

Officials want more time to review list of prisoners

Since the US and Taliban signed a peace deal, the biggest threat to the process of ending the Afghanistan War has been that the Ghani government failed to comply with a promised prisoner release. Ghani had since promised a smaller release, but is now putting that on hold as well.

The US had promised the Taliban 5,000 prisoners, and Ghani’s recent edict claimed 1,500 would be released at about 100 per day. Officials now want to further review the list, to decide which Taliban are most likely to return to fighting in the future.

Past delays had already threatened the peace process, and this new, open-ended postponement once again has Ghani giving the impression that he’s going to remain a thorn in the side of the peace process. He’s definitely making himself the enemy of post-war Taliban.

Ghani may have the same problem with the US, as his edict on prisoner releases came in return for the US committing to send attendees to his inauguration. He got what he wanted, and the US is probably going to resent this further obstacle.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of