Ashraf Ghani ordered to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners as a goodwill gesture to get internal Afghan talks started. The pause that President took caused a stir but the nation’s leader have delivered his promise on Wednesday, Associated Press reports.
The presidential decree went on to say the first round of 1,500 Taliban prisoners will be selected based on age, health and the length of their sentences already served. As the decree said, the released persons will be biometrically identified, then they will also have to give a written guarantee that they will not return to the jihad activities.
According to President Ghani, the remaining 3,500 prisoners will be released after intra-Afghan talks begin and 500 will be released every two weeks providing the Taliban to reduce violence on the battlefield.
However, even if the Taliban agree to start negotiations, both Ghani and Abdullah declared themselves president. The United States and other international players attended Ghani’s ceremony while urging both leaders to negotiate a single government.
On Wednesday, Ghani’s decree came as the US State Department urges to avoid any violence, adding that while the Taliban have stopped attacks against the US-led coalition forces and in Afghan cities, the violence in the countryside remains too intensive.
Moreover, the presidential electoral crisis in Afghanistan is delaying the establishment of a national negotiating team and the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, which were to begin on Tuesday in Norway’s capital, Oslo.
Political chaos in Kabul increases the risk of violence
While Kabul is trying to understand who is president, the United States has started withdrawing its troops as promised un the deal it signed on Feb. 29 with the Taliban. The gradual withdrawal’s plan anticipates Washington will reduce its troops contingent to 8,600, down from the current 13,000.
If the Taliban adhere to their commitments to deny terrorists safe havens in Afghanistan, Washington will withdraw the remainder of its troops over 14 months, the US-Taliban deal says.
The US leader has expressed increasing frustration with the Afghan governmental crisis and its security forces’ inability to police and manage their internal affairs. According to Donald Trump, almost from the beginning, the unravelling began as the Taliban returned to the battlefield and Afghan politicians stepped up their feuding as Washington’s Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad scrambled to find a way out of the impasse.