Taliban Team in Kabul to Supervise Prisoner Release

Afghan govt says no releases today, but first batch seems imminent

Reports on the all-important prisoner releases in Afghanistan seem to be moving quickly now, and while the government has reiterated that no one will be released today, imminent releases seem in the cards, as the Taliban sent a team to Kabul to oversee the process.

In previous talks, the deal was to have the first release by the end of the month, which is Tuesday. The Afghan government postponed this on Monday. They haven’t said anything else since then, but the Taliban’s dispatching a team implies something is about to happen.

Prisoner releases were meant to be the first step after the US-Taliban deal to start intra-Afghan talks, and the Taliban have said they won’t engage in any such talks until they get the promised releases. The problem is that the US promised the Taliban 5,000 people, but never made an accompanying deal with the Afghan government.

Intra-Afghan talks are also shrouded in uncertainty because of an indecisive election, leaving two self-proclaimed governments in power, and it’s less and less clear who the Taliban should be negotiating with, if anybody.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.