The government of Afghanistan informed that they had freed 900 Taliban prisoners on May 26. It is the biggest release to date and they expect Afghanistan soldiers to be released in return. They also urged the group to increase a 3-day ceasefire that ended on May 26.
The release is related to the prisoner swap according to an agreement done by Taliban group with the US in Qatar this February. The motive was a precursor of peace and harmony between Islamist militants and inclusive Afghan delegation. They wish to end the war that has been going on for two decades now.
A spokesperson for Afghanistan’s national security adviser, Javid Faisal, said that extension of the ceasefire is important for managing prisoner issue better. Taliban announced a 3-day ceasefire on the religious occasion of Eid al-Fitr that ended the fasting of Ramadan for Muslims. The move was accepted by both US and Afghan governments.
A Taliban spokesperson, Suhail Shaheen, tweeted that the freedom of 900 prisoners was a “good progress” and that the Taliban group would free a “remarkable number” of Afghan militants in return. Although, he didn’t mention anything regarding the extent of the ceasefire which was to expire on May 26. In the previous month, the insurgent group rejected an agreement by the government for the Ramadan ceasefire.
The war between Afghan forces and the Taliban was intense before the ceasefire. The government said that they would resume an offensive action against the group due to the nationwide deadly attacks earlier that month.
No more returns to the battlefield
According to guidelines laid down by the leaders and based on an agreement of the peace deal, the Taliban group will not get to the battlefield. This was stated by a Taliban member named Noor Rahman. He was one of the prisoners who was released from the Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Kabul.
Qari Ahmad Sayeed, another freedman was happy to be set free and said that he hopes that the result will bring in peace in Afghanistan. Faisal reported that every Taliban member was given new set of clothes, money, and transport to go back home. The entire process was completed by midnight and also when the ceasefire ended.
The release of prisoners started way back in April. But the process has been slow due to the constant disputes between the government and the Taliban. They were to release 5,000 people as per Doha pact, while the group freed 1,000 security force members of Afghanistan.
Before May 26, the government freed 1,000 prisoners and the Taliban only released 105. With the release of 900 prisoners, around 3,100 Taliban members would need to be freed from the Afghan government. This would help reach the agreed figure of 5,000. On the other hand, 895 Afghanistan soldiers would be released by the Taliban.