Kabul plans to finalize the release of Taliban prisoners

The Government of Afghanistan plans to release the last Taliban prisoner, Fraidun Kauzun, said Abdullah Abdullah, the spokesman for the head of the High Council for National Reconciliation.

A source from the Afghan security forces, for his part, stressed the country’s authorities plan to release all Taliban prisoners except those suspected of deadly attacks. But, their release is being opposed by France and Australia.

According to Kauzun, the government delegation is scheduled to arrive in the Qatar capital, Doha, to hold Afghan negotiations on the afternoon of September 2 or 3.

In addition, a source informed Revyuh that the Taliban movement released four other soldiers from the Afghan Army on the night of September 1.

The Taliban claimed last week that they are ready to negotiate a week after Kabul releases the remaining 400 prisoners.

Afghanistan is experiencing a situation of instability due to the attacks launched by the Taliban and, since 2015, the terrorist group ISIS, despite the strong military presence of the United States and its allies.

At the end of last February, the US and the Taliban signed an agreement in Doha that, in addition to cutting the US military contingent in Afghanistan, stipulated the release of thousands of prisoners from both sides to pave the way for inter-agency dialogue.

However, the peace process stalled for several months, mainly due to delays in the exchange of prisoners.

On August 9, the great assembly of the Afghan people, Loya Yirga, advised the president, Ashraf Ghani, release the last 400 prisoners from a list of 5,000 submitted by the Taliban. As they are insurgents accused of serious crimes, the president had left their release in the hands of the Loya Yirga.

The Afghan government’s decision was to remove one last obstacle to negotiations with Taliban representatives in Doha. In mid-August, however, the insurgents reiterated that they do not recognize the Kabul administration as a government, because it works to continue the US occupation, and only accept negotiations that encompass all parties to the Afghan conflict.