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Loya Jirga calls for conditional release of Taliban prisoners

08 Aug 2020 Afghanistan Times

AT News KABUL: The Loya Jirga called by President Ashraf Ghani to consult whether release Taliban’s 400 controversial prisoners, on condition of a cease fire as well as an international guarantee. Nearly all the 3,200 Jirga participants decided on its second day (Saturday) that the imprisoned insurgents be released from government custody on the condition that the Taliban agree a lasting cease fire. The Jirga also called for an immediate peace talks with the militants, emphasizing that the negotiations should be led by Afghans and the countries involved in Afghanistan issues, should stop meddling and supporting Taliban. It asked the international community to guarantee the Kabul-Taliban peace talks. The release of 400 imprisoned insurgents looks to be the final hurdle to start peace talks. The release of government employees from Taliban custody, defending of the constitution and achievements gained in the past 19 years as well as informing people of every details of the talks were other demands offered by the Jirga. The participants mentioned a big price Afghans paid for the ongoing war, saying they agree to release Taliban prisoners on condition of cease fire and international guarantee of the negotiations between Ghani administration and the militants. Abdullah Abdullah who heads the Loya Jirga said that the Jirga consultations were very important for the government. He called the Jirga decision over the release of Taliban prisoners, calling that a “breakthrough” even as the situation was not so pleasing, but unity of the people of Afghanistan was a victory.

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