Prisoner Issue Nearly Resolved, Afghan Peace Talks Expected Soon

Taliban, Ghani government still ironing out questions of 'dangerous' prisoners

Months of disputes over promised Taliban prisoner releases are nearly completely resolved, officials say, and there are just a few details left to work out between the Taliban and the Ghani government, particularly centered on prisoners Ghani considers “too dangerous” despite them being on the release list.

That’s a very good thing, because this was the last holdup for intra-Afghan peace talks, and now that it is to be resolved, the peace talks are expected to begin very soon. Those talks were supposed to have started long ago.

With the prisoner exchanges a sore spot, and their resolution a lot of confidence-building for both sides, there is every reason to believe that Ghani and the Taliban will make fast progress, something they need to, as US drawdowns from the country remain ahead of schedule.

The Ghani government has long tried to hold up the process because they clearly were tepid, at best, on the US peace deal, but it’s clear that the US is not backing away from its pullout, and that means they can either make an equitable deal with the Taliban at the negotiating table, or risk having to try to make a deal with them after the US leaves.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.