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Ghani Signs Decree to Release 400 Taliban Prisoners
From TOLONews
11-08-2020 - A source said that Ghani also signed a decree on the release of ANDSF prisoners in government prisoners.  
President Ashraf Ghani on Monday evening signed a decree to release 400 high-value Taliban prisoners, a source at the Presidential Palace said.  
The source said that Ghani also signed another decree on the release of the prisoners of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces who are imprisoned in government prisoners.  
The source, however, did not provide further details.    
This comes after the Loya Jirga--the grand assembly-- in a resolution issued on Sunday approved the release of the 400 Taliban prisoners in an aim to quickly start the intra-Afghan talks and bring about a ceasefire and an end to the nation's war.  
The resolution, which has 25 articles, was issued at Sunday's Loya Jirga session. President Ashraf Ghani, former president Hamid Karzai, and other political figures also called on the Taliban for an immediate start to the intra-Afghan talks.  
The members of the Loya Jirga in the resolution welcome and support the lasting peace with dignity to bring peace and stability to the country.  
The resolution also states that if foreign fighters are among the 400 Taliban prisoners “they must be handed over to their countries with valid guarantees.”  
 It also said that the release of the remaining Taliban prisoners must come with the assurance that the direct talks between the government and the Taliban will start “without any excuses.”  
The resolution also called for an immediate and long-lasting ceasefire and called on the international community and the Unites States to implement their commitment regarding this.  
The statement also said that the people and the government of Afghanistan must be assured that the released Taliban prisoners “will not return to war and their activity will be monitored.” The resolution urged the international community to cease direct and indirect intervention in Afghanistan’s affairs and to cease their support for terrorist groups.
They urged the Taliban and Afghan government to end the violence and conflict in the country and to solve the rifts through negotiations.  
It also pointed out that the “Islamic values, the role of scholars, basic government institutions, democracy and the two-decade achievements of Afghanistan “must be preserved and strengthened.”  
The resolution also stated that the members of the Loya Jirga believe that women, as half of the body of society, should have a legal and political status and play a constructive role and participation in all stages of the process.  
The Loya Jirga members also believe that the Constitution is a national guarantee which must be preserved, but, if necessary, it is possible to amend it, in accordance with the mechanism provided for within it, the resolution said.
The resolution mentioned that the Afghan security forces are guardians of the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and must be “supported and strengthened.”  
According to government data, out of the 400 prisoners in question, 156 of them have been sentenced to death, 105 of them are accused of murder, 34 of them are accused of kidnapping that led to murder, 51 of them are accused of drug smuggling, 44 of them are on the blacklist of the Afghan government and its allies, 6 of them are accused of other crimes, 4 are accused of unspecified crimes.  
The list of 5,000 prisoners was given to the Afghan government by the Taliban to be released ahead of intra-Afghan negotiations, which are now expected to be held in Doha.  
So far, the government has released 4,600 of the prisoners on the Taliban list, and an additional 500 that were not on the Taliban list. These last 500 were freed during Eid in response to the Taliban’s announcement of a ceasefire. 

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