“Prisoner swap recommences; Govt. negotiators to leave for Doha soon”


KABUL: The Afghan government informs of resuming the prisoner release process after a hiatus for a while, saying that obstacles to the launch of intra-Afghan talks have been removed.  

This comes as reports suggest that more than 200 out of the remaining 320 contentious Taliban prisoners have been set free in the past three days and that the process will be completed very soon.

The development comes as the long-anticipated all-Afghan talks have so far been delayed due to a lag in the prisoner swap between the Afghan government and the Taliban following some Western governments’ objections to hardcore Taliban inmates’ releasing.

Fraidoon Khwazoon, spokesman for the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), on Wednesday said that “All obstacles ahead of the intra-Afghan talks have been removed. The prisoner swap process will end soon and intra-Afghan talks will begin.”

Khwazoon also said that the Afghan government’s negotiating team was fully prepared for traveling to the Qatari capital of Doha.

This is while a well-placed source in the Taliban told Afghan Peace Watch (APW) that four of the total Afghan commando personnel in the group’s custody have also been released.