By: Lailuma Noori
US special peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad says formation of Afghanistan negotiating team led by President Ghani will result in motivation for starting the intra-Afghan dialogue.
This comes after President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani issued a decree for releasing of thousands of Taliban prisoners. According to the decree, releasing of Taliban prisoners will happen based on a framework that can considerably reduce violence in the country.
The figure 5,000 or half of them is a big number which is concerning if released at once. Releasing this big number of Taliban prisoners can be accepted when a big number of Afghan military personnel imprisoned in Taliban jails are released too.
According to reports, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani issued Tuesday night a decree to release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners starting Saturday according to a list provided by the Taliban group. The Taliban had already agreed to release up to 1,000 prisoners from Afghanistan government side.
US special peace envoy for Afghanistan expected the Taliban to adhere to its commitments to reduce violence in order to allow for the release of prisoners to be implemented smoothly and the peace process to succeed.
“I urge the two sides to sit down immediately for talks on this issue in Doha, Qatar to work out the details. The Afghan government has agreed to do so. When implemented, this will be a significant step in the peace process,” Khalilzad tweeted.
Reduction of violence in exchange for releasing 5,000 Taliban prisoners is considered as a minor concession as in dealing with the Taliban many issues should be considered; for example, clear visions of the people, permanent ceasefire, guarantee for the republic system, protection of human rights values as well as the protection of women rights.
Previously, US special peace envoy for Afghanistan had said that it was a year of peace and it was time to end the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
Now that Taliban has shown green light for the intra-Afghan talks with Afghanistan government and preparations are ongoing in this regard, the way to maintaining ceasefire should be paved as civilians are the only victims of ongoing violence and war in the country. Taliban should say “yes” to unconditional offer for peace talks so that ceasefire is implemented in the country.
Peace has its particular mechanism insisted by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani. Peace is a gift that should be granted to the people of Afghanistan as the people have suffered decades of war and they are now tired of all catastrophes that have happened during the past four decades in the country.
It is worth mentioning that US and Taliban have completed 11 rounds of peace talks and finally reached agreement signed a week ago in Qatar. US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, modality of counter terrorism, ceasefire or continued reduction of violence in the country and starting the intra-Afghan dialogue with Afghanistan government were key issues of the talks between the US and Taliban.