Firoz Bashar, head of the Government Media and Information Center, said on Wednesday that “international partners have assured us” that Anas Haqqani, Haji Mali Khan and Hafiz Rashid will “not return to the battlefield” and will “go to Qatar and remain there.”
Bashar also said that the government expects the release of the three Haqqani members to cause “violence to be reduced in the country” and that the move will make the Taliban open to “direct talks with the Afghan government.”
At the moment, however, a source close to the Taliban in Kabul says the three Haqqani prisoners have not yet arrived in Qatar and the two American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) professors abducted by the Haqqani network are “still in Pakistan.”
President Ghani said on Tuesday that the “conditional” release of the three Haqqani Network members was intended as an exchange for Kevin King, 63, an American, and Kevin Weeks, 50, an Australian, both of who were kidnapped In 2016 while employed at the American University in Afghanistan.
“The exchange was supposed to take place last night, but due to some problems it didn't happen, and today it is supposed to take place,” said Sayed Mohammad Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander.
TOLOnews spoke to Abdul Fatah, whose 34-year-old son was killed in a 2017 truck bomb explosion in Zanbaq square, and asked him for a reaction to the planned release of Anas Haqqani:
“If this is done in the interest of the nation, and for the peace of our whole country, it is a good step and we wait for God,” said Fatah.