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Ready for talks in a week if inmates freed: Taliban

Ready for talks in a week if inmates freed: Taliban

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Aug 10, 2020 - 08:31

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): The Talibaninfo-icon have voiced their readiness to enter direct negotiations with the Afghan government within a week if the prisoner release process is completed.

Suhail Shaheen, Taliban’s political spokesman, said in an interview the first round of talks would be led by Abbas Stanikzai, the movement’s former chief negotiator during talks with the United States.

Shaheen made the remarks while speaking to BBC Pashtoinfo-icon hours after the Loya Jirgainfo-icon in Kabulinfo-icon approved the release of 400 high-value Taliban prisoners.

The decision by the three-day tribal gathering, which was attended by thousands of elders, has apparently removed a big hurdle to the start of the intra-Afghan dialogue.

The first round of the negotiations is expected to be held in Doha, the capital of Qatar. 

Shaheen said: “The ceasefire is part of the intra-Afghan negotiations agenda that will be discussed there. It has been mentioned in the Doha agreement.”

Commenting on violence reduction, the spokesman said the militants had not attacked major provinces and had not attempted to seize provincial capitals. “We also have not attacked Kabul. We have reduced violence.”

He hit out at the delay in completion of the prisoner release, saying the Taliban would continue to implement the peace pact they signed with the US in February.

In the declaration issued on Sunday, the Loya Jirga approved the release of the 400 Taliban prisoners accused of involvement in heinous crimes.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud

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