Afghanistan Government places new demands before Taliban over the intra Afghan peace talks

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Afghanistan Government places new demands before Taliban over the intra Afghan peace talks

KABUL - Afghanistan Government places new demands before the Taliban over the intra Afghan peace talks.

The Presidential Palace on Saturday said the intra-Afghan negotiations will not begin unless 24 Afghan commandos and pilots are released by the Taliban, something that is seen as one of the key obstacles in the way of peace.

The Afghan government has so far released over 5,000 Taliban prisoners, including 80 high-value inmates whose release was approved by Loya Jirga, grand council, earlier this month, TOLO News has reported.

According to government data, out of the 400 high-value prisoners, 156 of them have been sentenced to death, 105 of them are accused of murder, 34 of them are accused of kidnapping that led to murder, 51 of them are accused of drug smuggling, 44 of them are on the blacklist of the Afghan government and its allies, 6 of them are accused of assorted other crimes, 4 are accused of unspecified crimes.

Dawa Khan Minapal, a presidential spokesman, said the Taliban has shown less flexibility towards the release of prisoners so far.

“They [Taliban] have not completed the 1,000 security forces they committed to release. They have released 800 prisoners. The main condition is that they should address their committment,” Minapal said.