The Afghan government on Friday once again called on the Taliban to reduce violence as the planned prisoner swap appears imminent.
Sediq Sediqqi, President Ashraf Ghani's spokesman, said that the talks between the technical teams of the Afghan government and the Taliban have not yet brought about a finalized agreement for the release to proceed.
“The Afghan Government Primary Contact Team is jointly working with the Taliban team. There has been some progress regarding this issue, the government has taken the basic steps for bringing peace, but we hope that the Taliban avoids violence and accepts the peace process,” said Sediqqi.
A number of politicians have said that any further delay in the release of prisoners will not be in the interest of the people and the country.
“It is the responsibility of the US and the Afghan government to initiate the intra-Afghan talks and conclude the issue of of the release of the Taliban prisoners,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander.
“The discussion is focused on the conditions held by the two technical teams. The process will be prolonged if the two teams do not reach an agreement,” said Abdul Baseer Anwar, the Minister of Justice.
“Both the Taliban and the Afghan government need to move the process forward, because each day of delay is a continuation of the war,” said Gul Ahmad Azami, a member of the senate.
Reduction in violence, the release of Taliban prisoners and the start of intra-Afghan talks are among the key items of the US-Taliban peace agreement.