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Concerns Growing Over Release of Taliban’s Prisoners

(Last Updated On: June 11, 2019)

The Afghan government has started the process of releasing nearly 900 Taliban inmates from prisons across Afghanistan.

During the last couple of days, dozens of Taliban prisoners were released from Herat, Bagram, and Pul-e-Charkhi prisons.

The Taliban insurgent group welcomed the move but military analysts say the released prisoners may join Taliban ranks in the battlefields.

“The release of nearly 900 Taliban prisoners at once will have a negative impact on the morale of our soldiers. On the other hand, you have to pay the price of peace to build trust,” said Zahir Azimi, a former military official.

During an address to the nation for Eid, President Ashraf Ghani said 887 inmates would be set free as a gesture of “goodwill.”

“The Afghan government is releasing Taliban’s prisoners to bribe Taliban to sit with them for peace negotiation, it will have a negative effect,” said Karim Khuram, Chief of Staff for Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

In a statement, Taliban says most of the released prisoners are not their members, however, the group welcomed the move.

“The releasing of prisoners can narrow the gaps but it cannot end the issue of Afghanistan,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban official.

Meanwhile, Afghan special forces have broken several Taliban prisons and released civilian and military prisoners.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass in a tweet welcomed the Afghan government decision of releasing Taliban prisoners. In addition, he thanked Afghan forces for their bravery in freeing hundreds of Afghans by breaking the Taliban’s prisons.

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