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Taliban Gives New List for Govt Release of 592 Prisoners: Source

The Taliban has handed over a replacement list for the 592 prisoners which were originally rejected as release candidates by Afghan govt, a source said on Thursday.

The government so far released 4,019 prisoners and the Taliban has released 737 prisoners.

Earlier this week, The Afghan government revealed one of the main reasons behind the delay in the intra-Afghan negotiations, saying it is not releasing 597 prisoners of the 5,000 inmates that were to be freed as part of the US-Taliban agreement, because these prisoners are being held not only for being affiliated with the Taliban, but because they are allegedly guilty of serious "moral" crimes.

On Wednesday, the members of the government peace negotiating team said that the team is fully prepared to enter into talks with the Taliban once the date and location have been finalized.

“There are different options---we are ready to go to Doha, we hope that the Taliban get prepared as soon as possible so that we can sit together and seek ways for peace and make peace for a common future,” said Nader Nadery, a member of the peace negotiating team.

The members of the peace negotiating team also said that the High Council for National Reconciliation needs to complete its formation and define its agenda and its main principles for the intra-Afghan talks as soon as possible.

The 21-member peace negotiating team is currently working in four groups as part of their preparations for talks with the Taliban.

The Taliban has said that the group will not endorse the intra-Afghan talks unless the Afghan government releases its 5,000 prisoners from the jails.

The release of the Taliban prisoners is part of the US-Taliban deal signed in Doha in late February.

According to the Afghan government, so far, 4,015 Taliban prisoners have been released.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani newspaper the Daily Times, citing two Taliban senior members, has reported that Taliban supreme leader Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada has inducted four more senior members of the high level “Rehbari Shura,” or leadership council, into the Qatar-based political office to "tighten his control" over the political affairs and make the team more powerful ahead of the key negotiations.

“The amir-ul-momineen (commander of faithful) has further tightened control over political affairs as majority of the shura members are now part of the negotiation team, who will directly report to him and the members will be out of control of others’ influence,” a Taliban leader told the Daily Times on Wednesday.

Members of the Taliban negotiation team are: Sheikh Abdul Hakeem, Sheikh Noor Muhammad Saqib, Maulvi Abdul Kabeer, Mullah Shireen Noorzai, Sheikh Mohammad Qasim Turkman, Sher Abbas Stanekzai, Qari Deen Muhammad, Maulvi Abdul Salam Hanafi, Mulla Muhammad Zahid Ahmadzai, Maulvi Abdul Latif Mansoor, Mullah Muhammad Fazil Kakar, Mullah Noorullah Noori, Abdul Manan Hotak (brother of Mullah Omar), Anas Haqqani Zadran, Maulvi Shahbuddin Dilawar, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa, Maulvi Muti ul Haq Khalis, Mullah Abdul Haq Waseeq, Maulvi Muhammad Nabi Omari and Suhail Shaheen.

A former Taliban commander in Kabul urged the Afghan government to not delay the prisoner release.

“They delay the issue of prisoners to prolong their five-year term, the Taliban are also insisting on their own stance, they have said that there will be no intra-Afghan talks unless the prisoners are released,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander. 

Taliban Gives New List for Govt Release of 592 Prisoners: Source

The Afghan government so far released 4,019 prisoners and the Taliban has released 737 prisoners.

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The Taliban has handed over a replacement list for the 592 prisoners which were originally rejected as release candidates by Afghan govt, a source said on Thursday.

The government so far released 4,019 prisoners and the Taliban has released 737 prisoners.

Earlier this week, The Afghan government revealed one of the main reasons behind the delay in the intra-Afghan negotiations, saying it is not releasing 597 prisoners of the 5,000 inmates that were to be freed as part of the US-Taliban agreement, because these prisoners are being held not only for being affiliated with the Taliban, but because they are allegedly guilty of serious "moral" crimes.

On Wednesday, the members of the government peace negotiating team said that the team is fully prepared to enter into talks with the Taliban once the date and location have been finalized.

“There are different options---we are ready to go to Doha, we hope that the Taliban get prepared as soon as possible so that we can sit together and seek ways for peace and make peace for a common future,” said Nader Nadery, a member of the peace negotiating team.

The members of the peace negotiating team also said that the High Council for National Reconciliation needs to complete its formation and define its agenda and its main principles for the intra-Afghan talks as soon as possible.

The 21-member peace negotiating team is currently working in four groups as part of their preparations for talks with the Taliban.

The Taliban has said that the group will not endorse the intra-Afghan talks unless the Afghan government releases its 5,000 prisoners from the jails.

The release of the Taliban prisoners is part of the US-Taliban deal signed in Doha in late February.

According to the Afghan government, so far, 4,015 Taliban prisoners have been released.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani newspaper the Daily Times, citing two Taliban senior members, has reported that Taliban supreme leader Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada has inducted four more senior members of the high level “Rehbari Shura,” or leadership council, into the Qatar-based political office to "tighten his control" over the political affairs and make the team more powerful ahead of the key negotiations.

“The amir-ul-momineen (commander of faithful) has further tightened control over political affairs as majority of the shura members are now part of the negotiation team, who will directly report to him and the members will be out of control of others’ influence,” a Taliban leader told the Daily Times on Wednesday.

Members of the Taliban negotiation team are: Sheikh Abdul Hakeem, Sheikh Noor Muhammad Saqib, Maulvi Abdul Kabeer, Mullah Shireen Noorzai, Sheikh Mohammad Qasim Turkman, Sher Abbas Stanekzai, Qari Deen Muhammad, Maulvi Abdul Salam Hanafi, Mulla Muhammad Zahid Ahmadzai, Maulvi Abdul Latif Mansoor, Mullah Muhammad Fazil Kakar, Mullah Noorullah Noori, Abdul Manan Hotak (brother of Mullah Omar), Anas Haqqani Zadran, Maulvi Shahbuddin Dilawar, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa, Maulvi Muti ul Haq Khalis, Mullah Abdul Haq Waseeq, Maulvi Muhammad Nabi Omari and Suhail Shaheen.

A former Taliban commander in Kabul urged the Afghan government to not delay the prisoner release.

“They delay the issue of prisoners to prolong their five-year term, the Taliban are also insisting on their own stance, they have said that there will be no intra-Afghan talks unless the prisoners are released,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander. 

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