The Taliban stated that at least 100 prisoners of the group whose names were on the list given to the Afghan government have not been released and that the intra-Afghan negotiations will begin only after these inmates are freed.
The Afghan government has said that all the prisoners on the Taliban list--of 5,000 inmates--have been released except the six "hardcore" prisoners who will be sent to Doha after they are released by the government.
“Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Mawlawi Abdul Hakim Haqqani, Mawlawi Abdul Kabir, Mullah Mohammad Shirin Akhund and Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwah met with the prime minister of Qatar, the foreign minister of Qatar and US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad about the release of the remaining prisoners and the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations,” Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for Taliban’s Qatar office, said in a message to TOLOnews.
However, according to the State Ministry for Peace Affairs, all the prisoners have been released based on the Taliban list.
“The release of the Taliban (prisoners) has been done based on the list they provided and this process has been completed,” said Njia Anwari, a spokesperson for the ministry.
Meanwhile, according to the Taliban, the six prisoners whose release has been opposed by France and Australia, have not been transferred to Doha so far.
“One of the conditions of the Taliban was that they will not enter intra-Afghan negotiations until their 5,000 prisoners are released, and according to the Taliban, (some of) the 5,000 prisoners have not been released so far,” said Hassan Haqyar, a political analyst.
“The government should identify these prisoners and the talks should begin and they can be released during the negotiations,” said Qazi Mohammad Amin Waqad, former deputy head of the High Peace Council.
The Afghan negotiating team has been waiting for its trip to Doha for the last five days, according to officials, but their trip has faced multiple delays.