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  4. Taliban peace deal: Afghanistan President rejects demand for release of 5,000 prisoners

Taliban peace deal: Afghanistan President rejects demand for release of 5,000 prisoners

Cracks in the US-Taliban Peace Deal appeared on Sunday as Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani rejected the demand for the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk
New Delhi Published on: March 01, 2020 16:26 IST
A file photo of Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani (AP
Image Source : AP

A file photo of Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani (AP image)

Cracks in the US-Taliban Peace Deal, sealed in Qatar's capital Doha, appeared on Sunday as Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani rejected the demand for the release of 5,000 prisoners as a pre-condition for talks between the militants and the Afghan government. News agency Reuters quoted Ghani as saying that it wasn't in the "authority" of the US to decide and that the Donald Trump administration was only a facilitator.

"The government of Afghanistan has made no commitment to free 5,000 Taliban prisoners," Reuters quoted the Afghan President as saying, a day after the historic accord was signed. According to the unofficial document shared with reporters at the time of the signing of the historic accord, up to 5,000 Taliban militants doing jail time would be released in exchange for 1,000 Afghan government officials.

The Taliban Peace Deal, which would eventually see the US and coalition forces leaving Afghanistan in a phased manner, has been hailed by US President Donald Trump.

Stating that it was time to "bring our troops back home," Trump said, "I really believe the Taliban wants to do something to show we're not all wasting time. If bad things happen, we'll go back with a force like no-one's ever seen."

The US President further congratulated Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, US Defence Secretary Mike Esper and the people of the US.

The peace deal envisages ending US' 18-year-old involvement in Afghanistan. It was signed by US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, in the presence of representatives from several neighbouring countries, including India.

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