Afghan Government: Release of Taliban Prisoners Will Continue

Prisoners released from list provided by the Taliban

A spokesman for Afghanistan’s National Security Council confirmed over the weekend that releases of Taliban prisoners are set to continue, with the government intending to complete the release of 2,000 Taliban previously promised by President Ghani. Since that pledge, they have released 1,700.

The Ghani government has been accused of not being transparent on releases in the past, but now says the process includes releasing prisoners from a list provided directly by a Taliban negotiating team. The Taliban sent a technical team to work out the specifics in Kabul.

The US-Taliban deal called for 5,000 Taliban and 1,000 Afghan troops to be released. The Taliban have released 420 troops so far, and both sides seem set to move forward toward ultimately completing that.

This would be a big step forward for the intra-Afghan peace talks. The initial plan was for the talks to start shortly after the peace deal was signed, but it was on hold because the prisoner releases didn’t start right away. Now that the prisoner releases are happening, they are making progress on other matters too.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.