Baztab News

What are the recently freed Taliban prisoners saying?

14 Aug 2019 Salam Watandar

KABUL (SW) – At least 35 Taliban insurgents have been released from prison at the directives of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

We tried to talk to at least five of them, but one of them refused to be interviewed. We contacted family members of two other recently released Taliban who said they were unavailable, which meant they probably joined the Taliban again.

The remaining two have returned to the families.

Nazuk Mir was a former Taliban member who spent one and a half years in prison. He says personal animosities forced him to join the Taliban. "I joined the Taliban because of a land dispute, desperation forces you to do everything," said Nazuk Mir.

He has two wives and nine children while supervising five more children of his brother, who was killed months ago while serving with the Taliban. All these children are not attending schools, and the arrest of Nazuk Mir has further aggravated their financial woes. Nazuk Mir has now realized the worth of education in life and wants all children in his family to get educated. “An illiterate person is blind and deaf. Look at me, what have I done by not getting educated”, he said.

The security forces had arrested a Taliban insurgent named Shamsuddin in Faryab province five years ago. He told SW no one has inquired about him during all these years. “Even since I have been freed, no one has inquired about me. No one has even bothered to ask who I am”, he said. Shamsuddin is father of three children all deprived of education. About his stay in prison, the former Taliban fighter said: “it is good all of that has passed”.

This comes as the Taliban recently concluded 8th round of peace talks with the U.S in Doha, Qatar. However, concerns remain that the recently freed Taliban might join ranks of the Taliban.


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