Afghans Decry Release of Taliban Prisoners
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Afghan officials said Pakistan's release of 33 Taliban prisoners from jail, a policy initially trumpeted by Kabul as an opportunity to ignite peace talks, has resulted in no concrete progress.
The Afghan government, desperately searching for a way to negotiate peace before NATO troops leave next year, has said that the release of influential rebels could encourage their comrades to the negotiating table.
But despite the 33 Afghan Taliban prisoners released by Pakistan and dozens of others freed in Afghanistan, there is still no peace process and some rebels have returned to the battlefield.
In parts of Afghanistan, which continue to witness Taliban attacks, the releases have been met with incomprehension if not anger by local government officials.
“The Taliban who are released rejoin the battlefield,” said Zurawar Zahid, police chief of the flashpoint southern province of Ghazni told AFP.
“We put our lives in danger to arrest them, but the central government releases them under different pretences,” he added.
Zahid said that more than 40 Taliban, including some senior commanders, who were recently freed from Ghazni central prison on Karzai's orders have gone back to the battlefield.