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Afghan Govt Halts Release of Taliban Prisoners

The Afghan government on Monday temporarily stopped the release of Taliban prisoners, saying the Taliban must bring its total number of released security force members to 200, while so far they have only "freed 105."

But following Faisal's announcement, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said the group released 53 prisoners of the Afghan government on Monday and the day before in Badghis and Faryab.

The Afghan government contends that although the Taliban has released a higher number of detainees, not all of them are from Afghan government security forces.

The government, according to the National Security Council spokesman Jawed Faisal, has so far released 1,000 Taliban prisoners.

The NSC spokesman Faisal said that the Afghan government has made efforts for peace based on the "people’s will" that started with the Kabul conference and continued offering the Taliban a ceasefire.

Faisal said: “On the contrary, the Taliban has not provided any plan for peace so far, has not reduced violence against the Afghan people and has not released prisoners based on the agreement.”

The NSC spokesman said the Taliban “still believe in violence” and they kill the people of Afghanistan every day and have not proceeded with the prisoner release as per the agreement.

According to Faisal, Taliban has released 171 prisoners among whom are 105 are security and defense force members, and the remaining are not members of the Afghan security forces.

“The government is committed to resuming the (Taliban) prisoner release when 200 security force members are released (by the Taliban),” Faisal said.

Faisal said that a list was given to the Taliban by the government. He did not mention the total number of the list but said 98 were available, while 610 others -- mentioned in the government list -- were not available, or the Taliban could not provide info on them. This was determined after an exchange between the technical teams of both sides.

“The government wants clarity in this regard” to know whether they have been killed, or have been kept somewhere or have been “sold,” Faisal said, adding that this should be made clear to the government, the people, and the international community.

He said that if they have “martyred” the security force members, it will be considered as a war crime. 

Faisal said the government is ready to release five Taliban prisoners in exchange for one prisoner that they release – as part of efforts to move the peace process forward.

He added that the Taliban “still have active relations with terrorist groups inside and outside the country,” adding that they should cut their ties with regional and international terrorist groups, including those in Pakistan. 

“The Afghan government is not obliged to continue the release of prisoners if Taliban stops the process,” he added.

Afghan Govt Halts Release of Taliban Prisoners

Following the government announcement, the Taliban announced on Monday that the group released 53 prisoners today and yesterday.

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The Afghan government on Monday temporarily stopped the release of Taliban prisoners, saying the Taliban must bring its total number of released security force members to 200, while so far they have only "freed 105."

But following Faisal's announcement, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said the group released 53 prisoners of the Afghan government on Monday and the day before in Badghis and Faryab.

The Afghan government contends that although the Taliban has released a higher number of detainees, not all of them are from Afghan government security forces.

The government, according to the National Security Council spokesman Jawed Faisal, has so far released 1,000 Taliban prisoners.

The NSC spokesman Faisal said that the Afghan government has made efforts for peace based on the "people’s will" that started with the Kabul conference and continued offering the Taliban a ceasefire.

Faisal said: “On the contrary, the Taliban has not provided any plan for peace so far, has not reduced violence against the Afghan people and has not released prisoners based on the agreement.”

The NSC spokesman said the Taliban “still believe in violence” and they kill the people of Afghanistan every day and have not proceeded with the prisoner release as per the agreement.

According to Faisal, Taliban has released 171 prisoners among whom are 105 are security and defense force members, and the remaining are not members of the Afghan security forces.

“The government is committed to resuming the (Taliban) prisoner release when 200 security force members are released (by the Taliban),” Faisal said.

Faisal said that a list was given to the Taliban by the government. He did not mention the total number of the list but said 98 were available, while 610 others -- mentioned in the government list -- were not available, or the Taliban could not provide info on them. This was determined after an exchange between the technical teams of both sides.

“The government wants clarity in this regard” to know whether they have been killed, or have been kept somewhere or have been “sold,” Faisal said, adding that this should be made clear to the government, the people, and the international community.

He said that if they have “martyred” the security force members, it will be considered as a war crime. 

Faisal said the government is ready to release five Taliban prisoners in exchange for one prisoner that they release – as part of efforts to move the peace process forward.

He added that the Taliban “still have active relations with terrorist groups inside and outside the country,” adding that they should cut their ties with regional and international terrorist groups, including those in Pakistan. 

“The Afghan government is not obliged to continue the release of prisoners if Taliban stops the process,” he added.

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