Taliban reacts to WION interview with Afghan govt spokesperson; says peace talks after prisoners released

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi Published: Aug 11, 2020, 04:29 PM(IST)

Taliban prisoners stand during their release from the Bagram prison, next to the US military base in Bagram, some 50 km north of Kabul. Afghan authorities plan to release 900 more Taliban prisoners on May 26, as calls grow for the militants to extend a ce Photograph:( AFP )

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"We will start intra-Afghan negotiations but they should release all remaining prisoners from the list that they are holding now," Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told WION.

Reacting to Afghanistan government's call for moving forward on the talks, the Taliban on Tuesday said that they will move forward with peace parleys only after all prisoners are released. 

"We will start intra-Afghan negotiations but they should release all remaining prisoners from the list that they are holding now," Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told WION.

His comments came after Sediq Sediqqi, spokesperson of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in an interview to WION called for "clear commitment from the Taliban side to enter the negotiations. "

Sediqqi said, "It is now up to the Taliban, the ball is in the court of the Taliban. People are ready, the Afghan government is ready, we have the negotiating team ready."

Over the weekend the Afghan Loya Jirga or grand assembly agreed on the release of 400 Taliban prisoners. The Afghan president signed the order for the release on Monday. While the dates are still not announced on Afghan Govt-Taliban talks, hopes are that it will begin in a few days time.

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