KABUL: The Taliban insurgent group on Thursday warned the Afghan government of a harsh reaction if any of its inmates were executed, saying mistreatment of the group’s remaining prisoners in government custody would severely affect the peace process.
The Afghan peace process and execution cannot move together, said the group in a statement in the wake of Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh’s remarks that called on the judicial system to issue the death penalty orders for detained Taliban members to help strengthen the security situation.
Recently, the group has reportedly demanded the release of another 7,000 of their loyalists from government jails as a precondition to the continuation of intra-Afghan talks.
Last year, more than 5,000 Taliban inmates were liberated in a bid to pave the way for the launch of all-Afghan negotiations. However, sluggish progress in the talks and hike in targeted killings and insecurity have irked people.
The government blames the Taliban for increased insecurity and sees capital punishment as a solution to deter their subversive activities.
Meanwhile, Waheed Omar, Senior Public and Political Relations Advisor to President Ghani, said the Afghan government would not free more Taliban hostages, emphasizing that the recent releases had resulted in more violence.
“We are not in favor of releasing more Taliban prisoners,” Omar said.
On the other hand, republican negotiator Abdul Hafiz Mansoor notified the negotiating team had decided that the legitimacy of the war must be discussed with the Taliban before any progress can be made.
He said the talks would not have an outcome until this dispute was resolved.