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Pakistan hails decision on freeing Taliban

09 Aug 2020 Salam Watandar

KABUL (SW) – Pakistan has welcomed the ‘Loya Jirga’ recommendation for freeing the remaining Taliban insurgents.

In a statement, Mohammad Sadiq, Prime Minister's Special Representative for Afghanistan, welcomed the Loya Jirga’s recommendation to President Ashraf Ghani to release the remaining Taliban prisoners from their list of 5,000 prisoners. “A major hurdle in the way of Intra Afghan Negotiations will be removed with implementation of this recommendation”, he said.

On Sunday, President Ghani said at the closing session of the consultative Loya Jirga that he would soon sign a decree to free remaining 400 Taliban prisoners.

Addressing the closing ceremony, he hoped the Loya Jirga's decision to release 400 Taliban prisoners would make up for the years of war and ensure lasting peace. Ghani also pledged to issue an order for the release of those security forces who had been imprisoned for negligence of duty.

Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the Consultative Loya Jirga, called the move by the Jirga as an "historic decision." Abdullah said the Loya Jirga's decision was a "good one" for Afghanistan. He also praised the Afghan security forces in part of his speech, saying that the security forces thwarted major dangers and conspiracies aimed at the Jirga.

Former President Hamid Karzai called on the Taliban to end the war and start direct talks with the Afghan government at the closing session of the Loya Jirga.

The Peace Consultative Loya Jirga was convened on Friday, August 7, to decide on 400 Taliban prisoners, including 3,200 women, and continued until noon on Sunday, August 7.


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