Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani makes key announcement over release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners from jails

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Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani makes key announcement over release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners from jails

*KABUL: *A mechanism for the release of Taliban prisoners has been reached and a presidential decree would be issued in this regard on Tuesday, the country’s president said on Monday.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s remarks came after he took an oath as president for another five-year term.

The landmark peace deal, signed on Feb 29 in Doha between US and Taliban lays out a timetable for full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan within 14 months. It also says that both sides would free each other’s prisoners and hold the intra-Afghan dialogue due to begin on March 10.

However, Afghan president said after the deal that his government had not made any commitment to the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners.

In response, Taliban said the intra-Afghan dialogue would take place only after the release of their prisoners.

On Sunday, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi while speaking to the media in Multan hinted that there was some development on the issue of release of prisoners.

Qureshi said some elements were trying to spoil the peace agreement, adding, they should not be allowed to succeed so that the golden opportunity “is availed for sustainable peace in Afghanistan”.

He said after successful resolution of the issue, the intra-Afghan dialogue would be the next step of the peace deal. - Anadolu Agency