Prisoner Releases Remain a Stumbling Block for Afghan Peace Talks

Govt denies Taliban claims prisoners are still being held

Intra-Afghan peace talks are set to start any day now, seemingly, though the last issue remains prisoner releases, with the Taliban saying at least 100 of the prisoners they were promised would be released are still in jail.

The Afghan government denies that this is the case, and says every single name on the list was already released.  It is difficult to prove or disprove, as the list was never made public. Moreover, the list was reported to have changed at some points, so the two sides may have differences in who they’re expecting to release.

But despite Afghan officials saying they’re done, the Taliban says they were told more were released today, and they were still trying to confirm. The timing of talks are still yet to be announced.

Recent US-Taliban talks were apparently an indirect attempt to get the prisoner release issue sorted, with the Taliban urging the US to ensure this got resolved. The prisoner release was supposed to be finished months ago, and has been the topic of a lot of debate within the Ghani government.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of