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article imageAfghan government releases first hundred Taliban prisoners

By Ken Hanly     May 26, 2020 in Politics
The Eid al-Fitr holiday began on Monday as did the ceasefire in Afghanistan announced by the Taliban. Early signs were promising with the ceasefire appearing to hold.
Afghan government releases 100 prisoners
The Taliban and the US had reached an agreement at the end of February. As part of that agreement, there was to be a swap of 5,000 Taliban prisoners held by the Afghan government for 1,000 held by the Taliban. However, the Afghan government was not part of the deal and there have been problems ever since with the Taliban earlier returning to battle the Afghan government. The Afghan government has yet to carry out the full terms of the original deal.
However, the peace process and talks with the government may be back on track with the Taliban ceasefire and the Afghan government releasing 100 prisoners. Ghani said that this is just the beginning of the release of 2,000. He said he plans to release 100 each day.
There are hopes the truce will be extended
The truce is scheduled for three days but given the success of the truce so far there are hopes the truce can be extended. This is the most progress made so far in realizing the terms of the Taliban US deal. Perhaps the two sides can make up for lost time and return to carrying out the terms of the earlier deal with the US. The Taliban could release a proportionate number of Afghan prisoners that they hold.
Javid Faisal the National Security Council spokesperson told the press after the first government release of prisoners: “The government of Afghanistan has today released 100 Taliban prisoners from Bagram prison." He said the prisoner release was to help the peace process and would continue until 2,000 prisoners were freed. Faisal claimed that the prisoners would be released in daily batches of 100. He hoped the process would eventually result in a lasting peace of a sort that the Afghan people desired and deserved. The Afghan government is more stable now that there has been a settlement of the dispute between Afghani and his competitor for president Abdullah Abdullah.
More prisoners released on Tuesday
In a more recent report authorities claim that about 900 Taliban prisoners had been released across Afghanistan on Tuesday with about 600 being let go from the notorious Bagram prison near the capital Kabul.
More about Taliban in Afghanistan, Taliban US peace deal, Afghan prisoner swap
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