Afghan Aide Rules Out More Taliban Prisoner Releases

Blames previous releases for mounting violence

Since the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners last year, there has been very little public demand from them for any additional releases. Despite this, the Afghan government has repeatedly expressed opposition to any more releases.

Ghani advisor Waheed Omar, fresh off unconfirmed reports that the Taliban had asked for 7,000 new prisoner releases, declared the government opposed, saying that they believe the increase in violence was because of the past releases.

Afghan officials were opposed from the start to the first release, and after months of delays finally compromised on the list. The government has accused some of the released prisoners of returning to the fight.

This is just part of effort to condition further progress on a ceasefire, in which nobody is returning to the fight because the fighting is over. That’s the goal, at least, though it may be awhile before the two sides can settle on terms for that.

Talks slowed in anticipation of today’s US inauguration, which the government says is entirely the Taliban’s fault. The Taliban, for its part, wants to ensure that the US remains committed to peace under a new administration.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.