Kabul: Afghan authorities said they will not release hundreds of Taliban captives despite planned peace talks that hinge on the prisoner exchange.
Under the terms of a US-Taliban deal, Kabul pledged to free some 5,000 Taliban prisoners in a swap that would see the insurgents release around 1,000 Afghan security force captives.
But National Security Council (NSC) spokesman Javid Faisal was quoted as saying by media that 600 prisoners the Taliban asked to be freed still had “serious criminal cases” against them.
“They are too dangerous to be released,” the official said. The Taliban on Wednesday accused the government of fabricating criminal cases against the prisoners.
“If they continue to create more problems in this regard, then it shows they do not want issues to be solved through reasonable ways,” spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.
But NSC spokesman Faisal insisted the government was committed to the talks.