In defiance of their commitments not to rejoin the war, a number of Taliban prisoners who were released from the Afghan government jails have reintegrated their colleagues on the battlefields, the Office of National Security Council (ONSC) said on Thursday as violence continue to expand in multiple fronts across the country despite international calls on the Taliban to reduce violence.
“The Taliban fighters signed on the papers and committed that they will not return to the war, regrettably some of these inmates have returned to the war fronts in defiance of the expectations of the Afghan people,” said Jawed Faisal, a spokesman for the ONSC.
The Taliban however have rejected such reports.
Meanwhile, some former Taliban commanders have urged the Afghan government to ensure the release of the remaining 600 Taliban prisoners from the total of 5,000 demanded by the group under the Doha peace agreement.
In the northern Jawzjan province, local officials have said that the Afghan security forces have captured at least two Taliban prisoners who were released from the Bagram jail nine years ago.
The two Taliban fighters were arrested by the security forces after they were trying to stage attack on a convoy of the Afghan security forces in the area, said the officials in Jawzjan.
“They confessed to have spent nine years in jail and released from the facility under an agreement and now operating as members of the Taliban in Chimtal district of Balkh. The two were gathering information on the security forces on Jawzjan-Balkh highway and wanted to ambush the convoy of the security forces, they were nabbed yesterday,” said Maroof Azar, a spokesman for the Jawzjan governor in northern Afghanistan.
According to the Afghan intelligence agency—the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the security forces also killed two Taliban operatives in Musahi district of Kabul last week and the two were released from the jails.
Afghan security officials have said that another key Taliban leader Qari Mustafa who was released from the jail 11 years ago has returned to the battlefield and serving as Taliban’s military commander in Dushi district of Baghlan.
“We have reports that Taliban members who released from the jails have returned to the war and they were killed, despite that, the process of prisoners release continue and this demonstrates our goodwill gestures for peace,” said Assadullah Khalid, the Afghan acting Minister of Defense.
“The government is lying about this---from the president to the lower employees---the country is in blood---they (govt officials) say that we are at the meeting. 200 people are being killed in Afghanistan on daily basis, theya re all our sons,” said Mawlavi Qalamuddin, a former Taliban official.
“The prisoners must be released before the Eid, we call on the Taliban to stop killing their brothers,” said Mohammad Amin Weqad, a former Jihadi commander.
Under the US-Taliban peace deal which was signed in Doha, the Taliban demanded the release of their 5,000 inmates, the Afghan government has so far released 4245 prisoners from the jails.
In exchange the Taliban have released over 860 government hostages.