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Gov’t has released nine Taliban prisoners from Wardak jail

25 Mar 2020 Afghanistan Times

AT News KABUL: In a decree, President Ashraf Ghani has set free at least nine Taliban prisoners from a jail in central Wardak province. The releasing made on Tuesday and the prisoners had been reintegrated with their family members. Provincial Governor’s Spokesman Mohibullah Sahrifzai said that these prisoners have committed to renounce violence and play an important role in reconstruction of the country. Back in February, the US and Taliban hammered out a peace deal containing the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners in return for the 1,000 prisoners held in Taliban’s custody. The Taliban has put the issue of prisoners release as a precondition for intra-Afghan-talks. President Ashraf Ghani who had firstly opposed Taliban’s offer to release prisoners, had eventually signed a decree which allows the gradual release but with commitment that they would not return to battlefield. Meanwhile, the Taliban and Afghan government’s peace communication team are set to hold the second round of video conference with the presence of US and Qatar representatives. During the video conference, Suhail Shaheen, Spokesman for the Taliban’s political office said that the release of 5,000 Taliban’s prisoners would be discussed with the Kabul delegation. The first video conference were held occurred on March 22. According to National Security Office, several dimension were discussed in the meeting such as the issue of prisoners release, intra-Afghan talks, reduction of violence and as well as ceasefire. The Taliban had agreed on a seven-day reduction in violence before signing the deal with the US.

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