Afghan Govt Announces Another Delay in Taliban Prisoner Release

First releases were scheduled for Tuesday, now won't happen

Over the past two weeks, one of the most hopeful signs on intra-Afghan talks was related to prisoner releases. The Taliban said they were told releases would come by the end of March, which is Tuesday. The Afghan government, however, now says no one will be released on Tuesday.

Afghan officials are calling this another “delay” to the prisoner release, though they aren’t saying anything about why this delay happened. It appears the government is angry that the Taliban rejected their peace negotiation team, and wants the Taliban’s own negotiators on hand to talk.

The Ghani negotiating team has questions surrounding it because Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah are both claiming the presidency, and it’s not clear which of the two, if either, can really negotiate with the Taliban right now.

Since the Taliban expect the talks to begin only after the prisoner releases, that may be putting the cart before the horse anyhow, as it’s likely to be many months before the releases have progressed to the point that talks could really begin.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.