As peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban appeared to be imminent, President Ashraf Ghani said that the process will not move forward until the fate of the security forces held by the Taliban is clarified.
The release of prisoners is one of the Taliban’s preconditions to start the much-awaited peace talks, reports TOLO News.
According to the US peace agreement with the Taliban, up to 5,000 prisoners from the government prisons, and 1,000 security forces held by the militant group, must be released before peace talks begin.
Four months after the agreement was signed, some 4,200 Taliban prisoners have been released by the government and about 850 government prisoners have been released by the group.
“The reason why the process of releasing Taliban’s prisoners is moving forward is because I want the fate of every prisoner of the Afghan security and defence forces to be clear. The peace process will not go on until the fate of our heroes is clarified,” Ghani said.
He also said that the people of Afghanistan will never give a Taliban emirate supremacy over the republic, and the militants should know that the people will make the final decision.
On the other hand, sources close to the Taliban have said that if the process of releasing prisoners is not completed, violence in the country will increase, TOLO News reported.
So far it is not clear when the peace talks will begin, but the UN had said the talks would begin in Doha in July.