Afghan Govt Denies Still Holding 100 Prisoners on Taliban List

Afghan Govt Denies Still Holding 100 Prisoners on Taliban List

The Afghan government on Wednesday rejected the Taliban claim that nearly 100 members of the group's detainees--who were on the list of 5,000--had not been released by the government. 

The Afghan government has said that all Taliban prisoners on the list have been released. 

Nevertheless, the Taliban have warned that they will not start the intra-Afghan talks unless the government in Kabul releases the alleged 100 prisoners.

“Currently there are no Taliban prisoners with the Afghan government from the list provided by the Taliban. Our expectation is that the Taliban will prepare for the intra-Afghan talks,” said Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani.

The Afghan government meanwhile confirmed that the six hardcore and controversial Taliban inmates, whose release was publicly contested by France and Australia, have not been transferred to Doha.

“{Prisoners} should be released to help pave the way for peace talks so that a ceasefire is put into place,” said Mawlavi Qalamuddin, a former Taliban member.

“I think the United States is now trying to keep the Taliban satisfied, rather than the Afghan government, and the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan is also taking place with the same considerations,” said Faramarz Tamanna, a university lecture.

Meanwhile, a US official has said that President Donald Trump is expected to soon announce his stance on the reduction of US forces in Afghanistan.

Currently, there are around 8,600 American soldiers in Afghanistan.