Saleh Blames Released Taliban for Violence, No More 'Blind Trust'

Saleh Blames Released Taliban for Violence, No More 'Blind Trust'

Afghanistan’s First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said on Thursday that those Taliban prisoners who were released from the Afghan government jails as part of the US-Taliban peace deal are playing a major role in the rising security threat to the country.

Saleh added that he is ready to prove case-by-case that the released prisoners are involved in the current violence against the people.

However, a number of citizens have said that the dramatic surge in the scale of violence and a rise in the targeted attacks is rooted in the failure of the Afghan security and intelligence agencies.

Referring to the recent spate of targeted attacks on the employees of the government institutions and the recent attacks on the employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development and Ministry of Agriculture, Saleh said that those Taliban members who were released are behind these attacks, and that the Afghan government will no longer release more Taliban members from the jails in good faith. 

“We are ready to prove case-by-case that the 5,500 Taliban prisoners that we released for peace--they are somehow involved in the surge in violence and murders of the people—this trust was blind and without a strategy, we will not repeat it again,” Saleh wrote on Facebook.

Based on the statistics, over the past two weeks, at least 30 people were killed in Kabul as a result of targeted attacks, and 30 more wounded. The majority of the victims were civilians.

The Taliban, however, has denied any role in the attacks.

“The Taliban group is trying to mobilize the public mindset against the Afghan government by creating a state of fear and chaos,” said Ahmad Zia Warsaji, head of the media department of the office of First Vice President.

“If the Taliban are involved in such incidents in the area, they should accept the responsibility and respond. If the government is involved, then the government should respond to the people,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander.

What do residents say?

“There is no security anywhere,” said Bilal, a resident in PD5 of Kabul.

“If you don’t clear the things from the higher level, then you can't figure it out from the lower level,” said Aziz, a resident in Kabul.

“No one knows where the suicide attackers really exist—whether they are on the street, at home or in a car, no one knows,” said Kabul resident Fardeen.

Based on TOLOnews statistics, 270 people were killed and 347 more wounded in January alone across the country as a result of 214 explosions, group attacks and shootings.