Afghan president warrants to free up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has started the process of freeing up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners as a “goodwill gesture”, his spokesperson said, in a step that came after the government welcomed the armed group’s ‘surprise announcement of a three-day ceasefire’ during the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

The decision to free the prisoners was taken “to ensure success of the peace process”, Ghani’s spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on Twitter on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the ‘ceasefire’ seemed to hold as there were no briefing of clashes between the Taliban and Afghan forces by the end of the first day on Sunday.

Ghani said a government delegacy was “ready to immediately start the peace talks” with the Taliban.

Government mediators would be lead by Ghani’s former rival Abdullah Abdullah after the two signed a power-sharing document last week that ended a months-long political crisis.

“This process should be completed in order to remove hurdles in the way of commencement of intra-Afghan negotiations,” Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman, said on Twitter.


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