HPC to make conditional demand on UN
KABUL (Pajhwok): The High Peace Council (HPC) on Sunday said it would urge the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to remove names of some Taliban leaders from its blacklist once the Taliban agreed to arrive at the negotiating table.
It was stated by Mohammad Ismail Qasimyar, the HPC international relations head, at a peace gathering in Kabul.
The gathering, organised by the Border and Tribal Affairs Ministry, was attended by tribal elders from a number of provinces.
At the end of the gathering, the HPC official said they would ask the UN to remove from the blacklist names of the five Taliban leaders, who were set free from the Guantanamo Bay prison last year, on temporary basis under an international monitoring.
He said if the five Taliban leaders had the authority of holding talks with the Afghan government and they were ready to do so, the HPC would pave the ground for their travel to any country they wanted.
The five --- Noorullah Noori, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mohammad Nabi Omari, Khairullah Khairkhwah and Mohammad Fazil Akhund --- were released from the US detention facility in Cuba last year in return for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only American war prisoner in Taliban’s custody.
The five former Guantanamo detainees have been under close monitoring in Qatar and subject to a travel ban since their release last year. The agreement with Qatar is set to expire June 1.
Qasimyar urged the United States to facilitate the five Taliban leaders to join the Afghan peace process and allow them to reunite with the movement.
He said a number of Taliban militants, who had been released from Guantanamo, Bagram and other jails, had reengaged in the conflict.
Abdul Salam Rakati, a senior official during the Taliban regime, who was present at the gathering, told Pajhwok Afghan News it was essential to lift restrictions on the five Taliban leaders in Qatar. He said the five Taliban men had the right to decide their future.
Members of Congress have repeatedly expressed concern about what will happen after the travel ban expires. They have asked the Obama administration to try to persuade Qatar to extend the monitoring.
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