‘Taliban prisoners will be freed if talks start, violence reduced’


Kabul: Taliban prisoners will be released gradually but only if the intra-Afghan negotiations begin and there was a significant reduction in violence in the country, a presidential advisor said here.

Presidential advisor Waheed Omer made the remarks on Monday and added that no Taliban prisoner would be released without a guarantee of the two stated conditions, reports TOLO News.

“We are reviewing the Taliban prisoner list. The release of the 5,000 prisoners will not take place at once. It will take time so that we can learn about the crimes for which each has been imprisoned,” Omer said.

But Taliban has already rejected the government’s plan for a gradual release of prisoners and said that they will not attend the intra-Afghan negotiations unless all the 5,000 inmates were freed at once.

The first prisoner release should have begun on March 14, according to a presidential decree, but the process has been delayed.

The prisoner swap was called for in the US-Taliban deal signed in Doha on February 29 as a way to open the door for intra-Afghan talks.

The deal was preceded by a seven-day reduction in violence period observed by all sides in the conflict.