The Afghan government has asked the Taliban to provide a new list for the prisoners who have not been freed so far, but the militant group has insisted on the release of their inmates based on an existing list, sources said.
As per the US-Taliban agreement, the Afghan government has so far released 4,080 Taliban prisoners but has refusing to free 597 inmates f the group, a move which has led to a delay in the much-awaited intra-Afghan negotiations, reports TOLO News.
“Despite the government’s repeated call for a change in the list of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, the Taliban is still insisting they were not open to change,” Sami Yousufzai, an independent journalist familiar with the process, said on Sunday.
“The Afghan government thinks that there are up to 100 prisoners on the Taliban list who are not political prisoners, who are not Taliban, but they are involved in crime cases, or are accused of smuggling and (the government) wants their names deleted (from the list).”
The sources also said that of the 592 prisoners in question, at least 90 of them are those that even the Taliban is not in favour of releasing.
“This list of (Taliban) prisoners will not change… The Taliban is insisting that the list that was sent should be implemented,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has also questioned hurdles in the way of the talks, saying: “If someone does not want war, why are they creating hurdles for talks?
“Let Afghans reach a result through political understanding that is the will of the nation and the international community.”
Critics The Taliban has so far released over 700 prisoners out of a pledged 1,000 inmates.
They released 17 prisoners in Ghor and 12 in Herat in the last two days.
The government has so far released 4,019 Taliban prisoners