Kabul [Afghanistan], August 14 (ANI): The 400 Taliban terrorists have still not been released despite President Ashraf Ghani signing a decree to do the same on Monday evening, sourced told Tolo News.
Taliban had been adamant to not start the intra-Afghan talks until all 5,000 Taliban terrorists are released by the Afghan government. The Afghan government has said that they have released over 4,600 Taliban terrorists, 400 less than the number decided during the US-Taliban deal.
The government is hesitating to release the remaining prisoners due to their serious crimes.
According to sources close to the Afghan peace process, the US and other Western countries have reservations with at least 6 to 10 of these high-profile prisoners because of their involvement in the killing of their citizens in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, sources at the Presidential Palace have said that a recent warning by the Taliban about a possible attack by Daesh on these prisoners could be one of the reasons behind the delay.
Ghani has signed a decree to release 400 Taliban prisoners, as part of efforts to begin intra-Afghan talks, a source at the Presidential Palace said.
Ghani on Monday evening also signed another decree to release prisoners of Afghan forces who are lodged in government jails, TOLOnews reported.
The development comes after the Loya Jirga (grand assembly) on Sunday approved the release of 400 Taliban prisoners as a goodwill gesture
The Loya Jirga issued a resolution with 25 articles, wherein it urged the international community to cease direct and indirect intervention in Afghanistan's affairs and to stop their support for terror groups.
The release of prisoners is being considered as the last hurdle into opening peace talks between the internationally-backed Afghan government and the Taliban under a peace deal signed between the group and the US on February 29. (ANI)