Wed, 23 Sep 2020

KABUL, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Afghan Loya Jirga, or the grand assembly of elders, chieftains and notables, after three days of debates, approved on Sunday the release of 400 Taliban prisoners, calling on the government to free them to pave the way for intra-Afghan talks.

The exchange of 5,000 Taliban prisoners with 1,000 Afghan government troops is part of the U.S.-Taliban peace deal inked on February 29 in Doha to facilitate the intra-Afghan dialogue, which will hopefully pave the way for the pull out of thousands of the U.S.-led forces from Afghanistan to end the war in the conflict-battered country.

The government had released 4,600 inmates.

Describing the 400 as dangerous, who were involved in major crimes such as truck bombings, kidnappings and killings, the government convened the traditional Loya Jirga with the participation of some 3,400 delegates from across the country to decide on the matter.

In a 25-article resolution released Sunday morning, the assembly called for the early release of the 400 prisoners.

The resolution also called for early start of the intra-Afghan dialogue for a permanent ceasefire.

Welcoming the resolution, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in his conclusion remarks promised to sign the order for the release of the 400 detainees on Sunday.

Chairman of High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah in his speech said that the resolution had removed all excuses for the Taliban to refuse the peace talks with the government.

The Taliban outfit which rejected the Loya Jirga as illegitimate, however, has yet to make comment.

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