You are here: Home » International » News » Others
Business Standard

Taliban protests as Afghanistan government releases another 100 insurgents

The administration of President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday released 100 low-risk Taliban prisoners who had vowed never to return to the battlefield

Topics
Afghanistan | Ashraf Ghani | Taliban

AFP | PTI  |  Kabul 

afghanistan, taliban
The releases come as Ghani faces an ongoing political crisis.

The Afghan government said it would release another 100 inmates Thursday, even though the insurgents have walked out of talks over a comprehensive prisoner swap and dismissed Kabul's piecemeal freeing of captives as "unacceptable".

The administration of President on Wednesday released 100 low-risk prisoners who had vowed never to return to the battlefield, and officials said the same number of insurgents with similar profiles would be set free Thursday.

The releases come as Ghani faces an ongoing political crisis, US fury over a floundering peace process and a growing coronavirus epidemic in Afghanistan, where officials fear the disease could run riot through the country's prisons.

Kabul "will release 100 prisoners today based on their health condition, age and length of remaining sentence as part of our efforts for peace and containment of COVID-19," Javid Faisal, spokesman for the Office of the National Security Council (NSC), said on Twitter.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP the step was inadequate. A small Taliban team came to Kabul last week to meet the government to discuss a comprehensive prisoner swap that was initially supposed to see 5,000 Taliban released in return for 1,000 Afghan security forces.

But they abandoned the "fruitless" meetings on Tuesday and returned to the southern province of Kandahar.

"Our stance has been very clear on prisoners swap," Mujahid said. "Now, hundreds hundreds prisoners are released on a daily basis. This is not part of our process and it is unacceptable to us." When asked why the government was still releasing Taliban inmates even though the prisoner swap appeared to have collapsed, Faisal said: "We need to push the peace process forward."

The United States signed a withdrawal deal with the Taliban in late February that required the Afghan government -- which was not a signatory to the accord -- to participate in the prisoner exchange. That step was supposed to have led to "intra-Afghan" peace talks starting on March 10.

No one knows when, or if, they may now start.

In the agreement, the US and other foreign forces will withdraw from in 13 months, and the Taliban must talk to Kabul and stick to several security guarantees.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, April 09 2020. 15:30 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.