The Afghan government on Tuesday released around 900 Taliban prisoners, according to the National Security Council.
The 900 prisoners were released from different prisons across the country, mainly from Pul-e-Charkhi Prison in Kabul and Bagram Prison in Parwan province.
The order for the release of these prisoners was issued by President Ashraf Ghani on the first day of Eid as he pledged to release up to 2,000 Taliban inmates. His announcement came as a response to the Taliban's calling a three-day ceasefire during Eid.
“The number will reach 2,000, but what remains is related to the Taliban... The continuance of violence by the Taliban will not help the peace process,” said Javid Faisal, a spokesman for the National Security Council.
Some released prisoners said they want unity and solidarity in the country.
“We want unity and solidarity,” said a released Taliban prisoner.
“Peace should come. There should be stability. Our country has witnessed forty years of war. We are happy for stability,” said a released Taliban prisoner.
Critics still doubt the intentions of the prisoners and say they might return to the war as there is a lack of a monitoring system from them after they are freed.
“There is question about whether they will return to the battleground or to their homes,” said MP Abdul Zahir Tamim.
“If we witness the release of 2,000 prisoners of the (Taliban), I can say for sure that the Islamic emirate will think about extending the ceasefire,” said former Taliban member Jalaluddin Shinwari, referring to the group as Islamic emirate.
The Afghanistan Human Rights Commission said there should be guarantees on the prisoners to not return to the war.
“There will be individuals who have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity or there might be people who have cases against them… They should not be included among released prisoners,” said Naeem Nazari, member of the commission.