Kabul (BNA) President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s senior adviser for public and strategic affairs, Waheed Omar, on Wednesday said that the Afghan government will not release more Taliban prisoners, and said that previous releases has resulted in more violence.
This comes as the Taliban has demanded the release of 7,000 more prisoners, the removal of the group’s members from the UN blacklist, and the formation of an Islamic system in order to continue the peace talks, according to peace talks.
“We are not in favor of releasing more Taliban prisoners,” Omar said.
The release of over 5,000 Taliban prisoners before was intended to reduce violence as the part of the peace process, Omar said, but “violence has increased because of it.”
Meanwhile Omar said: “we hope that the new US administration will work in coordination with the Afghan government on peace.”
In the meantime, Republic negotiator Abdul Hafiz Mansoor on Monday said that the negotiating team has decided that the legitimacy of the war must be discussed with the Taliban before any progress can be made. He said the talks will not have an outcome until this issue is clarified.
On Sunday, the chief negotiators from the Afghan republic and the Taliban met; however, the working groups from both sides failed to meet on Monday to finalize the agenda for the talks.
Three meetings were held in the first days since the talks resumed on January 6, but the working groups from both sides have not met for the last seven days. According to negotiator Nader Nadery, it was only the heads of the two teams and a limited number of members who met on Sunday evening and discussed the agenda.
The lack of meetings was criticized by Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), who met with a number of foreign diplomats at a virtual event to discuss coordination around the peace efforts. Abdullah said the peace efforts must be expedited.