Afghan government postpones plan to free 1,500 Taliban prisoners
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Affected Countries: afghanistan;
Afghanistan’s government said it has delayed the release of 1,500 Taliban prisoners. The move further deepened the fragile peace process.
On Saturday, Jawed Faisal, a spokesman for the Afghan National-Security Adviser’s office said that the government needed more time to review the list of the prisoners:
“We have received the lists of the prisoners to be released. We are checking and verifying the lists, this will take time”, Faisal said, adding that the authorities “want guarantees that they will not return to fighting”. The Taliban did not immediately respond to the announcement.
Last week, the country’s president Ashraf Ghani has signed a decree to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners as a move to launch direct talks with the Taliban.
Previously, a Taliban spokesman said that his group had handed a list of 5,000 prisoners to the US and was waiting for all to be released, as a condition set in the US-Taliban peace deal, which called for the release of up to 5,000 Taliban as well as 1,000 Afghan government captives ahead of intra-Afghan talks.
The Taliban said the group was committed to the peace deal, but would not start negotiations with the Afghan government until all 5,000 Taliban prisoners were freed.