The Afghan government has begun talks with at least 13 countries whose nationals are being held in Afghan prisons for membership in Daesh. 408 inmates in total have foreign citizenship, says the Afghan security agency.
Ahmad Zia Saraj, the head of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency—the National Directorate of Security (NDS)--on Tuesday said that from the figure, 299 of the Daesh inmates are nationals of Pakistan. However, Zia said that the release of Aslam Farooqi, a key Daesh leader, will not be handed over.
The NDS chief said that another 309 foreign prisoners that belong to Al Qaeda network and other militant groups are also in the custody of the Afghan government.
Daesh militants initially emerged in Afghanistan five years ago in the eastern part of the country.
“We have demanded these countries to work with us regarding this issue so that we are able to find an acceptable solution to the problem,” said NDS chief Ahmad Zia Saraj.
Of the 408 prisoners, 299 belong to Pakistan, 37 to Uzbekistan, 13 to Tajikistan, 12 to Kyrghzistan, 5 to Russia, 16 to China, 5 to Jordan, 4 to Iran, 3 to Turkey, 5 to Indonesia, 2 to Bangladesh, 4 to India and 2 from the Maldives.
NDS chief said that Daesh’s key leader, Aslam Farooqi, will be handed over to Pakistan if Pakistan hands over some key Taliban prisoners on a list made by the Afghan government.
“We will think about it once Pakistan hands over some Taliban leaders to us who are in their jails,” said Saraj.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani has said that the country will not go into isolation after the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country.
“We are marking the new chapter of our relations with the international community; you must be confident that the Afghan security and defense forces will be funded,” said Ghani.
Referring to the release of the Taliban prisoners, the NDS chief said that none will be released.
He said that on Monday the Afghan security forces killed a key Taliban leader, Mawlavi Ahmad Kandahari, in the southern province of Kandahar.
According to the NDS chief, the Taliban also tried to relocate its leadership from Pakistan to some areas in Kandahar province.
“The Taliban wanted to relocate its intelligence committee, information and culture committee and its prisoners' committee inside Afghanistan, but the killing of Mawlavi Ahmad sent them a clear message that Afghanistan was still not a home for them,” said Saraj.
Saraj added that most of the Daesh members entered Afghanistan through Turkey, Iran and Pakistan.
The Afghan government has also said that there are close ties between Daesh and the Taliban.
The Taliban have denied such allegations in the past.