Taliban Sought Prisoner Release, Blacklisted Names Removed

Massoud Ansar,

Noor said the Afghan government will not repeat its previous act–of releasing 5,000 inmates–which did not help in reducing violence.

Atta Mohammad Noor, an Afghan politician who attended the two-day negotiations with the Taliban delegation in Doha, said the group sought the release of more prisoners and the removal of its leaders’ names from the UN blacklist as a trust-building measure.

But Noor said this will not happen and the government will not repeat its previous act–of releasing 5,000 inmates–which did not help in reducing violence or furthering the peace process in the country.

He added that three commissions were formed during the two days of talks in Doha – the commission for building trust, commission on review of the Constitution and the commission for partnership in power – but none led to any results.

Noor said that trust can be built through other ways.

“Trust can be built through understanding, partnership in power, political partnership, end of war, reduction in violence, and ceasefire. We could have started from any other route, but regretfully, this did not happen,” Noor said.

He welcomed the agreement in Doha for the continuation of negotiations and the protection of civilians and their property but said that there are other ways that trust can be built between both sides.

“We hope that one day the other side will realize that war is not the solution in Afghanistan and peace is in the interest of all sides,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Ghani on a trip to Herat province on Monday accused the Taliban of having secret deals with Pakistan about the Durand Line, water, mines and security forces in Afghanistan, and said the group has destroyed over 140 mosques.

“How did you deal concerning Afghanistan’s water? How did you deal on Afghanistan’s mines? How did you deal on Afghanistan’s defense and security forces? How did you deal on the Durand Line?” Ghani asked.

The Taliban has denied the allegations.

Ghani said the Taliban want the surrender of the government, and he reiterated that there won’t be any deal on women’s rights.

“I told the foreigners ‘goodbye.’ Did you hear one word from your president to ask them to stay? I told them ‘goodbye.’ God is our protector,” Ghani said.

Ghani made the trip to Herat as 17 out of 19 districts as well as two key border towns in the province have fallen to the Taliban in the last three weeks.

Taliban Sought Prisoner Release, Blacklisted Names Removed