America and the Taliban have welcomed the Afghan government’s promise to release 2,000 Taliban prisoners in good faith.
According to the Afghan news agency Tolo, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in a tweet that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called him and the head of the National Reconciliation Council, Dr. Abdullah, and called for the release of 2,000 Taliban prisoners. He thanked the Afghan government for the decision.
Ashraf Ghani said Mike Pompeo called for an end to the long war and the start of direct talks.
It should be noted that the Taliban had declared a three-day ceasefire in the country on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr on Saturday, which was appreciated not only by the Afghan government but also by its neighbors and the United States, the main rival in the Afghan war.
Later, after the Taliban announced a three-day ceasefire, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced that the Afghan government would release 2,000 Taliban prisoners in good faith.
According to Javed Faisal, spokesman for the National Security Council in Afghanistan, the Afghan government today released 100 Taliban prisoners and promised to release 2,000 prisoners.
The prisoners were released from Bagram prison, he said. Javed Faisal added that we hope that the ceasefire will continue with it and direct talks will begin.
Sohail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, welcomed the Afghan government’s move.
He said the Afghan government’s promise to release 2,000 prisoners was a good move, but called for the release of 5,000 to be completed to create a conducive environment.
Khalil Safi, a former director of science and global affairs at the International Crisis Group, said the release of prisoners would soon reduce violence and create an opportunity for dialogue in
If the Taliban continue their attacks, the Afghan government will not keep its promise to release 2,000 Taliban prisoners, said Sami Yusuf, a journalist.
On the other hand, analysts say that there is no guarantee that the prisoners will not return to the battlefield after their release.
The Afghan government was supposed to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners under a peace deal between the Taliban and the United States in Doha, Qatar, on February 29, 2020, but so far the government has released 1,000 Taliban prisoners.
US-Taliban peace deal
It should be noted that a historic peace agreement was signed between the United States and the Taliban to end the war in Afghanistan that began on February 29, 2001, after the attack on the World Trade Center in New York.
The four-page Afghan Peace Accord consists of four main parts in which the Taliban will not allow any organization, group or individual to use Afghan territory that would endanger the United States or its allies. The withdrawal of allied troops will be ensured, the Taliban will start the process of intra-Afghan talks from March 10, 2020, and after the intra-Afghan talks, a strategy for the political process in Afghanistan will be worked out.
According to the agreement, the Afghan government will release 5,000 Taliban prisoners in exchange for the release of 1,000 Taliban prisoners.
The prisoner exchange was due to be completed before March 10 and negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government were to begin, but the process was slow due to a number of issues.
However, the recent wave of violence in Afghanistan has further complicated the issue, with some of the attacks, including the May 12 attack on a maternity hospital attributed to ISIS.
After Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered the resumption of offensive operations against the Taliban, the Taliban said in response to the Afghan government’s announcement that they were fully prepared to respond to attacks by Afghan forces. The Taliban had said that from now on, the responsibility for further tensions would fall on the shoulders of the Kabul administration.
Earlier on May 18, the Taliban reiterated their demand for implementation of the Doha Accords.
Sohail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office, said the solution to the Afghan problem was in line with the Doha Accords, the release of prisoners was complete and interAfghan talks should begin