Sunday, September 20, 2020

Afghan government to free 900 prisoners; Taliban may expand

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Confess: the Afghan government Said it would free 900 prisoners on Tuesday, the US and its largest prisoner released since then Taliban A peace agreement was signed earlier this year in which prisoners were exchanged between the warring parties.
The announcement came as a three-day ceasefire when the rebels came to an end. The Taliban called the truce during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
There are expectations that the release of the prisoner may reduce violence and Taliban officials say they are considering an extension of the ceasefire.
A senior Taliban man confirmed this to the Associated Press.
The Taliban official said, “If these developments, such as the announcement of the prisoner’s release, continue, it is possible to proceed with decisions such as extending a brief ceasefire and moving in a positive direction with some minor issues.”
The prisoner’s release is part of a US pact with the Taliban, which allowed the withdrawal of US and NATO troops on 29 February. Afghanistan, To end the country’s long battle and AmericaLongest military partnership.
When the deal was signed, it was presented as Afghanistan’s best opportunity for peace after decades of war, but in political fights Kabul And delays in prisoner exchanges have slowed the agreement’s progress, which is believed to be the second and most important phase of the agreement.
Under the deal, Kabul is to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners, while freeing 1,000 captives to the rebels, who mostly hold government officials and Afghan forces, before inter-Afghan negotiations can begin.
Afghan President Ashraf ghani Had welcomed the declaration of a Taliban ceasefire during the Muslim holiday.
Javid Faisal, a national security spokesman in Kabul, urged the Taliban to extend the ceasefire and said the government would release 900 prisoners on Tuesday.
This would bring the number of Taliban prisoners released so far under the US-Taliban deal to 2,000. The Taliban say they have released 240 detainees.
However, the Taliban have not yet confirmed that the 5,000 names released so far by the government were given by the rebels to American negotiator Zalmay Khalizad, the architect of the February 29 deal.
Another Taliban official told the AP that those released so far were a fact on the Taliban’s list of demands, including the uncle of Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada.
Important in deciding which names will appear in the list is Mulla Nooruddin Turabi, a senior who recently recovered from COVID-19, a disease caused by coronovirus.
During the Taliban regime, Turbi was a highly feared deputy and virtue minister known for beating people who did not listen to music or attend mosques. He once slapped a Taliban commander who spoke with a female journalist.
Both Taliban officials spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.

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