Sources within the Taliban ranks have told NBC News that the youngest son of the feared Haqqani terror network’s founder is among hundreds of prisoners whom the Taliban is demanding be released as part of an upcoming round of talks with the United States.
“This meeting with the U.S. authorities would either help pave the way for more meaningful talks or stop them forever,” a Taliban commander in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province said on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media. “If they are sincere in talks in the future, they would accept our proposal for a prisoners’ exchange.”
This comes as sources privy of the development within the Taliban ranks had earlier told Reuters that the leaders of the group were meeting to discuss the makeup of the three- or four-person delegation and the subjects to be discussed.
The sources had said the Taliban would like to discuss an exchange of prisoners and could hold another meeting soon if the United States showed seriousness in talks by releasing prisoners.
“This meeting will determine the future talks and we would see if the U.S. is serious and sincere in negotiation,” one of the officials involved had said.
“We would hand over a list of prisoners languishing in jails across Afghanistan. If they set free our prisoners then we would meet again for another great cause,” the sources added.