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Afghanistan: Ghani says fate of imprisoned government forces must be clarified for peace talks

ANI | Updated: Jul 18, 2020 12:46 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], July 18 (ANI): As peace talks between the government and the Taliban seem to be imminent, President Ashraf Ghani said that the peace process will be unable to move forward until the fate of the security forces personnel who are being held by the Taliban, is made clear.
The release of prisoners is one of the Taliban's preconditions to start the talks. According to the US peace agreement with the Taliban, up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners from the government prisons, and 1,000 security forces prisoners held by the Taliban, have to be released before peace talks can begin, reported Tolo news.
Since about February, after the agreement was signed, some 4,200 Taliban prisoners have been released by the government. The Taliban has released 850 government prisoners till now.
"The reason why the process of releasing Taliban's prisoners is moving forward is because I want the fate of every prisoner of the Afghan security and defense forces to be clear. The peace process will not go on until the fate of our heroes is clarified," said Ghani in a speech while he was on a visit to the province of Ghazni, on Thursday (July 15).

In another part of his speech, President Ghani said that the people of Afghanistan will never give a Taliban emirate supremacy over the republic, and the Taliban should know that the people will make the final decision.
Shabnam Nasimi, chairperson of Conservative Friends of Afghanistan said that the women were concerned about their rights, which they fear, will be sacrificed in the peace talks.
"Twenty years after the presence of the United States, Britain and the international community, and billions in aid and thousands of victims, the country is in danger of falling to the Taliban - a group that has gone from being an enemy on the battlefield to a partner in a peace process. The people of Afghanistan have made it very clear that they are not dealing (with) Afghanistan's achievements and the fundamental rights that Afghanistan has gained over the past two decades," said Nasimi.
Sources which are close to the Taliban said that if the process of releasing prisoners was not completed, violence in the country would only increase.
So far it is not clear when the peace talks will begin. The United Nations has previously said the talks would begin in Doha in July. (ANI)