Govt Releases 170 Taliban Prisoners Amid Peace Efforts
Sources said on Monday that the Afghan government has released at least 170 Taliban inmates from the Pul-e-Charkhi jail and that 130 others are expected to be freed on Tuesday.
According to the sources, the released prisoners were imprisoned on charges of membership and cooperation with the Taliban and were sentenced to years of prison.
The announcement on the release of the prisoners was made by President Ghani on the closing day of the grand council on peace earlier in May.
Again on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, Ghani announced the release of 887 prisoners as part of his efforts to persuade the resurgent group to engage in intra-Afghan dialogue to end the conflict through diplomatic settlement.
According to National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib, all the 887 inmates are Taliban prisoners.
Critics have said the decision will have a possible negative impact on the country’s fragile situation and that the decision has been made without wider consultations.
The move comes at a time that diplomacy is taking center stage in the Afghan peace process which has hit constant deadlocks due to persistent denial by the Taliban insurgents to engage in direct talks with the government in Kabul.