Afghanistan welcomes freedom of Taliban prisoners

      Kabul, Afghanistan, 20 Shafar  1434/2 January 2013 (MINA) Afghan presidential palace welcomed freedom of a number of the Afghan Taliban prisoners from Pakistan.


     Presidential palace spokesman Aimal Faizi on Tuesday told reporters that Kabul is expecting that the move by Pakistan will encourage other Taliban leaders to sit-in for peace talks with the Afghan government, according to a report published in monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Wednesday.


     He also said the freed Taliban leaders have not returned to Afghanistan so far and there are no news regarding the Taliban prisoners who were recently freed.


     The Pakistan government released eight Afghan Taliban prisoners Monday with hopes of invigorating the peace process in Afghanistan, where NATO troops are scheduled to pull out at the end of 2014.


     Former justice minister Nooruddin Turabi and ex-governor of Helmand province were among those freed, a government official said Monday, putting the number released at four.


      Pakistan’s foreign ministry later issued a statement to say eight detainees, including Turabi and Mullah Abdul Bari, had been set free.


      Pakistan’s powerful army chief has made reconciling warring factions in Afghanistan a priority, Pakistani military officials and Western diplomats said, the clearest signal yet that Islamabad means business in promoting peace.


     General Ashfaq Kayani, arguably the most powerful man in Pakistan, is backing dialogue partly due to fears that the end of the US combat mission in Afghanistan could energise a resilient insurgency straddling the shared frontier, according to commanders deployed in the region. (T/R-011/R-006)


Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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