US-Taliban Agreement: When and how will Taliban prisoners be released?

On February 29th, 2020, the U.S. signed a conditional peace agreement with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar.

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Taliban

A three-member Taliban delegation arrived in Kabul on Tuesday to supervise the release of its prisoners.

Taliban’s spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the delegation will monitor the release of the prisoners, but he did not disclose the names of three members of the delegation.

On the other hand, government officials in Kabul have not made any statements regarding the Taliban delegation’s arrival in Kabul.

Doha Agreement

On February 29th, 2020, the U.S. signed a conditional peace agreement with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar. According to the Doha agreement, the Afghan government will release five thousand Taliban prisoners and 1,000 prisoners from the Islamic Movement.

The International Red Cross is also involved in the release, under which prisoners will first be handed over to the Red Cross committee.

The International Red Cross is the biggest humanitarian network in the world. Its task is to alleviate human suffering, protect life and health, and maintain human dignity, mainly during armed conflicts and other crises.

However, there are still many vague points in the agreement.

  • There is a contradiction in the figures of the Taliban and Afghan officials.
  • Differences between the Taliban and the Afghan government are also found in the terms offered for the release of prisoners.
  • The Taliban have demanded the unconditional release of prisoners from prison, but the Afghan government says they need to be guaranteed that these prisoners will not join the combat lines again.

Sohail Shaheen, a spokesperson for the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, told The Independent Urdu that a delegation was due to go to Kabul to release Afghan prisoners, but it was delayed due to a ban on public transport.

Meanwhile, the Taliban attacks on the Afghan security forces are continuing, resulting in heavy casualties. According to Afghan authorities, an attack in Takhar on Sunday evening killed six soldiers and 13 police officers at several checkpoints. Moreover, at least six soldiers were killed in an attack on Monday morning in Zabul.

The United States is putting a lot of pressure on the Afghan government to protect the peace deal from being broken.

Only after the release of the prisoners will the international talks begin. The release of prisoners is being called the first tougher challenge to the Doha peace agreement.

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