US-Afghan peace deal: 2 days after historic pact, Taliban rejects intra-Afghan talks until prisoners’ release
The friction within the peace deal flared up after Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani said that his government has not agreed to the prison swap with Taliban
Bengaluru: The Taliban has rejected to participate in the intra-Afghan talks until the release of prisoners. In a statement, the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told international media that no talks would proceed until the release of all 5000 prisoners. The development comes just two days after the United States and the Taliban signed the historic peace agreement to end the bloody war in Afghanistan that lasted for almost two decades.
The US and the Taliban have signed a landmark peace agreement after nearly 20 years of war that could result in American troops leaving Afghanistan within 14 months.
The deal also paves the way for talks between Afghans to end one of the longest-running conflicts in the world.
The friction within the peace deal flared up on Monday after Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani said that his government has not agreed to the prison swap with the Talibani prisoners. However, under the historic peace deal, 5,000 prisoners were expected to be released by the Afghan government, as a pre-condition for direct dialogue with the armed group.
"The government of Afghanistan has made no commitment to free 5,000 Taliban prisoners. It is not in the authority of the United States to decide, they are only a facilitator,” Afghan President Ashraf Ghani told reporters in Kabul. The Taliban, in conflict with the democratic government, has often refused to sit down for talks calling it a "puppet regime".
Diplomats from Afghanistan, United States, India, Pakistan and other members of the United Nations gathered alongside the Taliban representatives in Doha's Sheraton Hotel on February 29. The deal, if signed, will end the 18-year-old long war of the United States in Afghanistan.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaking about the peace deal said that all contents in the agreement are 'conditions-based'. He added saying that the withdrawal of the foreign forces from the region will depend on the Taliban's fulfillment of their commitments. The Taliban had even ordered its fighters to refrain from any attacks.