Nearly 900 Taliban prisoners will be released today, announced the Afghan National Security Council (NSC). A spokesman of the NSC, Javid Faisal, said this was a positive sign and a step towards the success of the peace process, the extension of the three-day ceasefire and direct dialogue between the Afghan people.
The release of a large number of Taliban inmates on a single day came after President Ashraf Ghani reciprocated to the Taliban’s call for an Eid ceasefire and ordered the release of 2,000 prisoners. A group of 100 insurgent prisoners were released from Bagram Prison yesterday. Reports today also indicate that the Afghan ceasefire would be extended for a week.
Ghani had ordered the Afghan security forces to follow the ceasefire and refrain from offensive attacks. The Taliban had welcomed the government’s decision and said they would do the same. The Taliban has so far released 250 government prisoners, of whom only 170 have been identified by the government.
The Taliban also reminded everyone that under the U.S.-Taliban peace agreement that was signed in February, the Afghan government had to release 5,000 of the group’s prisoners.