The Afghan government is preparing to release another group of 100 Taliban prisoners, the National Security Council spokesman Jawed Faisal said on Saturday, but he did not provide details on when this would happen.
The government started the process on Wednesday by releasing 100 prisoners, followed by another 100 inmates released on Thursday.
The government has vowed to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners to move the peace process forward.
“We are sparing no effort within the framework of the law to encourage the Taliban to begin negotiations. Both sides should make efforts to move the process forward,” said Najia Anwari, a spokesperson for the State Ministry for Peace Affairs.
Based on the US-Taliban peace agreement, 5,000 prisoners of the group should be released by the Afghan government, and 1,000 prisoners should be released by the Taliban, to begin intra-Afghan negotiations.
On Friday, Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said “unidentified” prisoners were released by the Afghan government while their delegation had already left Kabul after meetings with government team that ended with no result.
The Presidential Palace recently said the High Council of Peace and Reconciliation will be established for the leadership of the peace process. But politicians said they have not seen any new developments in this respect.
“So far, I have not heard anything that they (the government) has worked on in regard to the High Council of Reconciliation. These are only confined to speeches. Mr. Ashraf Ghani has a plan for everything but does not have a plan to implement them,” said Sayed Ishaq Gailani, head of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan.
“Regrettably, the Presidential Palace is famous in losing opportunities and it is famous in delaying the intra-Afghan negotiations. You saw that the negotiation team formation was delayed for 20 days. The high reconciliation council that should lead the intra-Afghan peace process has not been established yet,” said Fazl Hadi Wazin, a university lecturer.
The Afghan government says efforts are underway to form the council.
“The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has taken basic steps for achieving peace. Now the Taliban should act on their promises,” said Latif Mahmoud, a presidential spokesman.
On Friday evening, Gen. Austin S. Miller, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, met with the Taliban leadership in Doha.
Col. Sonny Leggett, spokesman for the US forces in Afghanistan, said the meeting was “part of the military channel established in the (US-Taliban) agreement,” and “the meeting was about the need to reduce the violence.”
“Gen. Miller has gone to Doha to assure the leaders of the Taliban political office that the US is committed to the (US-Taliban) agreement and that no violation will happen in the future,” said Jalaluddin Shinwari, a former Taliban member.