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Jirga wants contentious Taliban inmates freed

Jirga wants contentious Taliban inmates freed

Aug 09, 2020 - 13:14

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The three-day Consultative Loya Jirgainfo-icon on Sunday gave the go-ahead to the release of the remaining 400 contentious Talibaninfo-icon prisoners, removing the last hurdle to intra-Afghan peace talks.

The tribal gathering’s approval came in a resolution that was unanimously passed at the end of grand assembly. The Loya Jirga was called into session to decide on the issue.

Atefa Tayeb, a participant of the meeting, announced:  "To remove hurdles to the start of peace talks and stop bloodshed, the jirgainfo-icon approves the release of 400 prisoners as demanded by the Taliban."

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, who chaired the assembly, remarked the jirga decision had left the Taliban with no excuse and all obstacles to direct talks had been cleared..

“We are on the verge of peace talks," said Abdullah, who also heads the national reconciliation commission.

Any foreign citizens among the prisoners should be handed over to their respective countries, the delegates recommended.

The resolution said the intra-Afghan peace talks should get under way immediately. It suggested there should be assurances that the freed prisoners would not return to the battlefield.

A permanent ceasefire should come into force immediately, added the resolution, which stressed the principle of democracy, the republic system and protection of basic human rights, especially of religious minorities.

Addressing the jirga, ex-president Hamid Karzai said: "This is a very happy day. Based on the information I have the intra-Afghan talks would begin within two to three days after the release of the 400 Taliban prisoners."



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