Three Haqqani prisoners, including Anas Haqqani, were released from Bagram prison on Monday evening and flown to Doha, but will remain under 'house arrest' there, sources told TOLOnews.
On November 12, President Ghani at a press conference confirmed that Anas Haqqani, Haji Mali Khan and Hafiz Rashid, three Haqqani Network commanders, had been “conditionally released” in exchange for the release of two Haqqani-held professors who were abducted while working for the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), Kevin King, 63, from the US, and Timothy Weeks, 50, from Australia.
This comes as President Ghani spoke with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, in two separate phone calls, to “review the steps necessary to release three Haqqani prisoners” and they agreed that “a ceasefire and/or reduction of violence was necessary to begin intra-Afghan negotiations,” the Presidential Palace said in a series of tweets.
The US officials reiterated their support for President Ghani’s decision and committed to work closely together to respond to any possible Taliban violence in the event the group doesn’t respond in good faith, the Palace said.
The Palace said the two sides agreed that a ceasefire and/or a reduction in violence was a necessary pre-condition for kick-starting the intra-Afghan negotiations to reach a political settlement.
“Both the Secretary and Ambassador O’Brien praised the performance of the Afghan security forces, including their ongoing efforts in eliminating ISIS-K’s (Daesh) safe havens in Nangarhar, and reaffirmed continued American support to these forces so that Afghanistan can never again be used as a platform for international terrorism,” the Palace said.