With Final Prisoner Release, Afghanistan Takes a Giant Step Toward Peace

Originally published at The Diplomat

At long last, the Afghan government and the Taliban are ready to start their long-delayed peace talks.

The Afghan Loya Jirga (grand assembly) approved the release of 400 Taliban prisoners on Sunday, and President Ashraf Ghani endorsed the decision. This hopefully paves the way for the intra-Afghan talks between Afghan delegates and the Taliban insurgency, aimed at ending the 19 years of war.

“I look forward to the intra-Afghan dialogues,” said Khalid Noor, the youngest member of the Afghan negotiating team. He added, “I believe it’s going to start in the next few days.”

On Monday, the Taliban and the Afghan government agreed on August 16 as the start date for the intra-Afghan dialogues. The 21 members of the Afghan negotiation team headed by Massoum Stanikzai (former chief of the National Directorate of Security) is likely to depart Afghanistan for Doha, Qatar once the prisoners are released — as early as tomorrow.

The 400 prisoners were the last of a group of 5,000 whose release was promised in the U.S.-Taliban peace deal, signed on February 29. The Afghan government was hesitant to release these last prisoners for various reasons, from a lack of presidential constitutional authority to a desire to hold the prisoners responsible for their actions as well as a need for leverage for the Afghan government after the U.S.-Taliban deal.

Read the full article on the website of The Diplomat


Ahmad Shah Mohibi is the Founder of Rise to Peace

Recent Posts

The Islamic State of Khorasan and the Afghan Peace Process

The recent attack on the girl’s school in a Hazara neighborhood warrants discussion concerning the…

3 weeks ago

The Red Brigades: What We Can Learn From Italian History

Origins of The Red Brigades The Red Brigades, an Italian far-left guerrilla group, were active…

1 month ago

Reciprocal Radicalisation – What Is It And How Do We Fight It?

With the tragic deaths of five and injury to over 150 people during the storming…

2 months ago

The Rise And Countering Of Maritime Terrorism By The United States

Since the maritime environment is so open there is plenty of opportunity for maritime terrorism.…

2 months ago

The Biden Administration And Afghan Peace Negotiations In Doha

As the peace process in Doha continues to unfold, the Biden Administration will face several…

2 months ago

Human Rights Abuses By The People’s Republic of China

Overview Out of the eleven million Uyghurs living in Xinjiang in China, between 800,000 and…

2 months ago