Afghan FM warns on reckless freedom of Taliban prisoners
By Sajad - Sun Feb 10 2013, 8:01 pm
Afghan foreign officials also emphasized that Pakistan should release only those Taliban prisoners who are able to play a vital role in Afghan peace talks and are verified by Afghan high peace council.
Foreign minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul on Sunday said Afghanistan agreed with Pakistan and United Kingdom during the recent tripartite talks that the Taliban prisoners should be released in coordination with the Afghan peace council.
Rassoul further told reporters that the fate of the Taliban militants who have been released from the Pakistani jails should be specified.
He warned that the freed Taliban prisoners could pose a threat unless the Afghan government does not know regarding their whereabouts.
“We said that the Taliban prisoners should be freed after consulting with the Afghan high peace council since only Afghan peace officials are authorized to continue with the peace talks and can verify Taliban prisoners role in Afghan peace talks. We have expressed our concerns with them and warned that Taliban prisoners freedom could pose a major threat without peace council’s coordination.” Zalmai Rassoul said.
However Dr. Zalmai Rassoul did not disclose further information on how the freed Taliban militants could pose a threat but deputy Pakistani foreign minister on Friday said they have handed over a list of the Taliban detainees to Afghan high peace council who are due to be released from the jails.
Pakistan has released around 20 Taliban militants from its jails during the recent months however there are no reports regarding their fate and whereabouts after their freedom so far.
In the meantime a joint summit of Pakistani and Afghan clerics was due to be organized last month however the summit was reportedly not organized due to lack of interest by Pakistani officials.
But Afghan foreign minister said the summit will be organized next month and a delegation of the Afghan high peace council will visit Pakistan on Sunday.
Efforts to include Pakistan in Afghan peace process comes amid continued talks between the two nations to sign a long term strategic cooperation agreement but Afghan foreign minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul said that Afghanistan must become confident that no threat is posed to Afghanistan from Pakistan and Islamabad remains committed to honestly cooperate with Kabul before signing the pact.