Taliban prisoners’ release must be tied to armistice: MPs

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KABUL: Members of the lower house of parliament, also known as Wolesi Jirga, on Monday expressed concern regarding the potential release of another 7,000 Taliban inmates, saying prisoner swap should be dependent on a ceasefire and headway in peace talks.


Recently, the US Chargé d’Affaires Ross Wilson said the Taliban demand the release of around 7,000 of their convicts by mid-December, as part of the US-Taliban agreement signed in February.


However, on Monday, Presidential Place stressed that the Afghan government had fulfilled its responsibility to the agreement by releasing more than 5,000 Taliban prisoners. “Now, it’s time for the Taliban to declare a wide-ranging ceasefire.”


Abdul Zaher Salangi, the Wolesi Jirga member from central Parwan province, underlined that no Taliban detainee should be released until the insurgent group declares a truce.


Meanwhile, lawmaker Ali Akbar Jamshidi from central Daikundi province said that releasing more Taliban inmates should be based upon a comprehensive ceasefire agreement.


Mir Rahman Rahmani, the Wolesi Jirga speaker, stated that decisions regarding the Afghan peace process should not be based on individual interests and should be shared with the people of Afghanistan.