Kabul wants curbs on released Taliban men lifted
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghan government on Monday criticised the US for putting restrictions on the movement of five senior Taliban leaders, who were transferred to Qatar from the US-run Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba.
A Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman told reporters in Kabul that US president Barack Obama’s remarks were unclear to Kabul with regard to the living status of the five Taliban men in Doha.
The five senior Taliban figures were swapped with a US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who spent nearly five years in Taliban’s captivity.
The Taliban leaders released from Gitmo include Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa, Fazl Mazloom, Noorullah Noori, Abdul Haq Waseq and Mullah Abdul Nabi Omari.
“If the prisoners are transferred to Qatar with restrictions on their movement then the Afghan government appeals for their early freedom,” said Ahmad Shekib Mustaghni, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“We hope the five released Taliban leaders enjoy full freedom in Qatar and are allowed access to the Afghan Embassy in Doha like other ordinary Afghans,” he said.
He said Kabul could not understand a part of the Obama speech when he said the Qatari government had promised full protection to the US national security after the release.
He said the Afghan government wanted explanation if the freed Taliban men would remain in custody and would have no freedom in the gulf state.
“Earlier, it has been agreed that the five Taliban leaders will be given into the Afghan custody after their release and will be reunited with their families in any country they want,” he said.
But they were taken to Qatar against all the previous agreements, and if they had no freedom and were still in custody, then it was a matter of serious concern for the Afghan government, the spokesman continued.
“If they don’t have full freedom or they live under certain limitations then it is a clear violation of international laws. The US has no right to transfer Afghan prisoners from a foreign prison to a third country,” Mustaghni added.
The Afghan government has submitted a memorandum with the US Embassy in Kabul and sent that to the Qatari government requesting further details about the development, he said.
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