Kabul, Apr 12: The Afghan government on Sunday released a third group of Taliban prisoners, as a further step towards confidence-building with the militant group.
This happened hours after the Taliban announced that it was releasing and handing over 20 Afghan government prisoners, Kabul's National Security Council said. The office of the National Security Council announced that under a decree from President Ashraf Ghani, the group of the Taliban prisoners were rounded up and handed over, 'according to their age, health and incarceration.'
This release of Taliban prisoners is a major step forward towards confidence-building between the Afghan government and the Taliban, aimed at jump-starting the intra-Afghan peace negotiations for the war-ravaged country. These negotiations were set to begin on March 10 after the US and Taliban signed a peace agreement on February 29. Kabul, however, took issue with the agreement's stipulation that 5,000 Taliban prisoners would be released, saying it had never given the US negotiators the authority to make any such commitments on their behalf to the Taliban.(UNI)