Sediqqi: 4,015 Taliban Prisoners Released So Far

Presidential spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi said 4,015 Taliban prisoners have been released by the Afghan government so far and called it a significant step towards the start of the intra-Afghan talks and urged the Taliban to also reciprocate, during a press conference on Monday.

Sediqqi said that the entire peace process is built on the premise that the Taliban would reduce violence before negotiations can start and meet their end of the bargain.

“Not only the government of Afghanistan but also the international community has condemned the Taliban’s recent violence,” he said.

He also called on the Taliban to release members of the Afghan security forces who are being held captive by the group.

Sediqqi added that the release of the remaining Taliban prisoners was dependant on the group’s actions going ahead. He said the Afghan government had taken major steps to ensure peace and the start international talks. But the Taliban’s actions have been negligible.

“The Afghan security forces are ready to respond to any attack and defend their people,” he pointed while saying that the Taliban “must know they are facing a system that is wanted by the Afghan people.”

He emphasized that the Taliban’s continued use of violence had led to a lack of public confidence in the peace process.

Of the 597 prisoners who were not being released due to the criminal or moral crimes, Sediqqi stressed that the Afghan government will follow the law, so the judiciary will decide which of the Taliban prisoners should be released.

Cabinet announcement

Sediqqi also announced a woman deputy governor will be appointed in all provinces of Afghanistan on the suggestion of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.

He said the government will be sending their list of cabinet nominees to the parliament within “two weeks” or a little longer and were awaiting the picks of Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation.
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