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News > Afghanistan

Afghanistan Rejects Releasing Taliban Prisoners Under US Deal

  •  Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. | Photo: EFE

Published 2 March 2020

The U.S. proposal threatens to increase tensions between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Just hours after the United States announced that it would end the war in Afghanistan within 14 months, they requested, as part of the ongoing negotiations that the Afghan government, to release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners.


The United States and the Taliban Sign a Peace Agreement

"It is up to Afghanistan, not the United States, to decide when the Taliban prisoners will be released," Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said recently in Kabul, the country's capital.

"Afghanistan is not committed to releasing Taliban prisoners, although it could be included in the negotiation agenda. But we do not accept that this is a precondition," he said.

Following the signing of an agreement between the Afghan and US governments this Saturday, which seeks to end the longest war the United States has ever fought, the first signs of trouble begun to appear. 

"The United States and its allies will withdraw completely from Afghanistan within 14 months, according to a joint Afghan-American statement to be issued today following the signing of the agreement with the Taliban."

The U.S. proposal threatens to increase tensions between the Afghan government and the Taliban, while the Asian nation questions whether an agreement with the United States will really bring lasting peace, according to the national press.

"The Afghan people fear that extremists will once again dominate society and the government, as happened during the Taliban's leadership in the late 1990s." Marzia Rustami, a women's rights activist in northern Afghanistan's Kunduz province, recently told to The New York Times.

"The Taliban, who fought for 18 years for their own ideology, will not suddenly abandon their anti-democratic and anti-women's rights values. We don't want the Taliban regime back." the activist said.

U.S. President Donald Trump's plan for peace talks with Afghanistan includes a provision for the release of up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners by the time the next round of negotiations begins on March 10th, in Oslo, Norway. 

At the heart of the agreement is a timetable for the United States to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan within 14 months, a Trump pledge to reduce US involvement in the Middle East, and thus end the longest conflict in American history.

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