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Questions Raised As High Profile Taliban Member Goes Missing

11 Jun 2019 Tolo News

Skepticisms rose after an ex-Taliban designated governor Qari Salahuddin escaped from a jail run by members of the Afghan intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, in Faryab province.

Based on reports, Salahuddin who spent four years in NDS detention has rejoined the Taliban on the battlefield.

Following the dramatic escape of Salahuddin, over 80 members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) were also released from a Taliban jail in Qaisar district of Faryab, a development which has fueled rumors that release of ANA forces and civilians from the Taliban custody might be related to the release of the Taliban member.

“People have doubt that Qari Salahuddin was released as a result of a political deal and named it escaping. People know that Qari Salahuddin returned to Faryab and is engaged in his destructive activities,” said former Faryab governor Rahmatullah Turkistani.

“He [Salahuddin] was an influential guy in the area. He has power and influence. Of course, he will join the Taliban and will continue fighting the government,” said political analyst Hassan Haqyar.

More than 200 Taliban prisoners have been released by government since Monday, June 10.  

President Ghani ordered the release of almost 900 Taliban prisoners last week and said he made the decision on the demand of 3,200 delegates of the grand council for peace held late in April.

Meanwhile, almost 400 people have been rescued from Taliban prisons in different parts of the country over the past two weeks.

“There is possibility that similar deal was made in exchange for the release of these prisoners so that the Taliban will provide the ground for voters in favor of Mr. Ghani on the election day and to pave the way for filling ballot boxes, an experience we had in the past and it looks likely now as well,” said Nazari Paryani, a journalist.

“So far, nine operations were carried out on detention centers of armed opponents and enemies of this country. Nearly 400 people were rescued,” said Zubair Arif, a spokesman for Ministry of Defense.  

The Taliban has welcomed the move but has not commented on the release of civilians and members of the Afghan forces from their prisons.

In a recent development, Afghan security officials have announced the release of 50 people among them civilians from a Taliban jail in Baghlan and Kunduz provinces on June 11.

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