The Taliban announced rejecting the demands of Kabul government, which stipulates the movement a set of conditions that did not exist in the agreement reached with the U.S. administration a week ago.
The agreement signed between Taliban and U.S. Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad states unconditioned release of all Taliban prisoners detained in Kabul prisons, which term was refused by Kabul government, as it is the one responsible for the prisoners and not the U.S.
Kabul government has announced that it will release 1500 prisoners within 15 days, and the others will be released if the talks with Taliban were negative. However, Taliban’s spokesperson said the conditioned release announced by the Afghan government contradicts with the agreement signed in Qatar at the end of last month.
“The agreement clarified appropriately that 5000 prisoners will be released, then the Afghan dialogue will start,” Reuters quoted Taliban spokesman Suhail Shahin in Doha.
“We did not agree to any conditional release of prisoners. If anyone claims that, it will be against the peace agreement we signed on February 29,” Shahin added.
President Ashraf Ghani will release 1500 Taliban prisoners in the coming days according to an Afghan presidential decree, to pave the way for direct talks with the movement, aiming at ending the 18-year war in Afghanistan. The decree, to be issued later, states that all released Taliban prisoners should present a written declaration not to return to the battlefield.
The release of 1500 prisoners will take place within 15 days, with a hundred prisoners released every day, according to the presidential decree, pointing out that the dialogue between Kabul and Taliban will come in conjunction with releasing the prisoners.
The Government announced that it will release 500 more prisoners every week, until the total reaches 5000 prisoners, in case the talks were positive.
The decree indicated that Taliban should fulfill its commitment in reducing violence during and beyond this period, explaining that releasing prisoners is part of a confidence-building initiative paving the way direct talks between the government and Taliban.
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