Publish dateSunday 8 March 2020 - 10:11
Story Code : 205041
Afghan president demands
The Afghan president says the proposed release of five-thousand jailed Taliban militants under the US deal will happen only if Kabul gets a guarantee that they will not return to violence
Addressing lawmakers on Saturday, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani pressed for a mechanism to be put in place to ensure that Taliban prisoners would not revert to terrorism after their proposed release.
The issue of releasing 5,000 Taliban inmates was declared by a top Taliban negotiator in the Qatari capital, Doha, who said that Washington has guaranteed the release of Taliban’s prisoners as part of the deal they signed on February 29, 2020.
In his Saturday remarks, President Ghani said the Afghan government did not want to keep 5,000 militants imprisoned forever.
Instead, he said, Kabul sought to release them as proposed in the US-Taliban deal, in line with such a transparent mechanism that supported an eventual cease-fire between the insurgent group and the Afghan government.  
"The people should be confident that these people [Taliban] have changed after becoming free," Ghani said.  
Based on the US-Taliban agreement, up to 5,000 imprisoned Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan's custody are to be released by March 10 ahead of intra-Afghan peace negotiations. 
Last week, Ghani linked the release of the Taliban prisoners to the group breaking ties with neighboring Pakistan, which Afghanistan sees as the main backer of the armed insurgents.
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