The release of the Taliban prisoners was conducted based on a list given by the technical team of the Taliban to the Afghan government, said Jawed Faisal, a spokesman for the Office of National Security Council (ONSC).
“Taliban prisoners were released based on the list provided by the technical team of the Taliban to the technical team of the Afghan government,” said Faisal.
This comes amid skepticism about the identity of the prisoners. Previously, the Taliban criticized the Afghan government for the lack of transparency of the process and the identity of the inmates.
The Afghan government on Friday released 164 members of Hizb-e-Islami from Bagram and Pul-e-Charkhi jails, said members of the commission implementing the peace deal between the group and the Afghan government.
However, some of those released from the jails claimed to be members of the Taliban.
Mohammad Afzal is one of the those released today. He served in the Afghan National Army (ANA) for eight years and later was arrested at Kabul airport for ties with the Taliban.
“I was given 20 years in prison. I spent 11 years of it before I was granted freedom for the remaining 9 years under the (Hekmatyar--government agreement) process, and I came out,” said Mohammad Afzal, a resident of Nangarhar.
“As I said, criminals were also among those released. Neither the Taliban nor the Afghan people will be happy about it. They should try to study the issue thoroughly to make sure that those released from the jails are those asked for by the Taliban,” said Sayed Ishaq Gailani, the head of Nahzat-e-Hambastagi Milli Afghanistan party.
Meanwhile, Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said that the release of Taliban prisoners has reached a significant stage.
“The prisoner swap has been carried out to a significant stage, these things have created favorable conditions,” said Abdullah.
Under the US-Taliban peace agreement, 5,000 Taliban prisoners will be released from the Afghan government’s jails.
So far the government has released 2,000 of the inmates.
The Taliban also released 420 Afghan security force prisoners out of the 1,000 called for in the US-Taliban deal.
The Taliban’s spokesman Suhail Shaheen on Saturday tweeted that the Taliban released 73 members of the Afghan security forces in Balkh, Kunduz, Logar, Paktia, Khost and Paktika.
He said that so far the Taliban has released 420 government prisoners.