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Taliban Prisoners Still Under Afghan Government Custody: Sediqqi

(Last Updated On: November 16, 2019)

Presidential Spokesman Sediq Sediqqi on Saturday confirmed that Anas Haqqani, Mali Khan and Hafiz Rashid, three members of the Haqqani Network, are still under government custody, because Taliban couldn’t deliver on their promises.

“Taliban’s failure to comply with the conditions has delayed the [prisoners] swap process,” Sediqqi wrote on Twitter.

Ghani’s Spokesman further said that the Afghan government will review the prisoner exchange process and will act based on the national interests of the country.

Last week, President Ashraf Ghani confirmed the release of key Taliban members, saying they would be freed in exchange for the release of two foreign lecturers from the American University of Afghanistan.

Hajji Din Mohammad, Deputy of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council told Ariana News that the prisoner swap was halted at the last minute following a deadly car bombing in Kabul and a similar attack on U.S. forces in the Logar province on 13 November 2019.

The Afghan Parliament Speaker, Mir Rahman Rahmani, speculated on Saturday that the two professors, Kevin King, 61, from the U.S., and Timothy Weeks, 49, from Australia, might have died.

“Taliban showed that they have no authority to make a decision about war or peace,” the Lower House Speaker added.

However, in a phone call with Ariana News, the Taliban spokesman Zabihulla Mujahid on Friday said, their prisoners were expected to be transferred to Qatar and Taliban would hand over the two AUAF professors to Americans inside Afghanistan, but for unknown reasons the swap did not happen.

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