Ahead of peace talks Afghan govt to release 400 Taliban prisoners
KABUL (AFGHANISTAN) – As many as 400 hardcore Taliban prisoners will be released by Afghanistan to pave the way for peace negotiations to end the almost two-decades-long civil war.
The war-torn country is facing pressure from US President Donald Trump to negotiate for peace so that American troops can return home. The grand assembly, or Loya Jirga, on Sunday gave the nod for the release of the militants to join peace talks.
“In order to remove an obstacle, allow the start of the peace process and an end of bloodshed, the Loya Jirga approves the release of 400 Taliban,” the assembly said in a resolution.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said: “Today, I will sign the release order of these 400 prisoners.”
Last week the president had invited some 3,200 community leaders and politicians to the capital to discuss whether or not to release the prisoners.
Talks between the belligerent Taliban and the Afghan government will begin in Doha this week, according to Western diplomats. Ahead of talks, the president had appealed to the Taliban for a complete ceasefire.
The decision to release the prisoners, who had conducted some of the bloodiest and brutal attacks in the country, has triggered outrage among citizens and rights activists.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field