“Taliban intransigent stance on prisoner release behind slow-paced talks” 


KABUL: The republican negotiating team claims the Taliban delegation in Qatar is unwilling to continue constructive talks as it remained adamant on the release of their inmates, disregarding other key issues. 
A member of the Afghan negotiating team, Hafiz Mansour, on Tuesday said that the current peace talks weren’t proceeding well and that pessimistic perceptions about the peace process were escalating.
“Taliban focus on the release of their comrades from government custody, while the main point for Afghanistan is to talk based on Islamic ideas about the war,” Mansour underlined.
This is while the US envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad met with the Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar in Qatar, where the latter reiterated his group’s appeal for prisoner release.
Last year, the government liberated more than 5,000 Taliban inmates to pave the way for intra-Afghan talks, which haven’t fared well so far other than the finalization of procedural rules. 
Now, the militants reportedly want 7,000 more of their detainees to be released before they take forward talks on the agenda.