The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Taliban yet to show will for peace

Three weeks after the United States signed a landmark agreement with Taliban militants in Doha, the peace process stipulated by the agreement is already under severe strain because of disagreements over multiple issues mentioned in the agreement and outside its scope.
The Taliban militants and the Afghan government and factions supporting the current political system, have already missed the March 10 deadline for beginning direct talks aimed at concluding a lasting cease-fire and working out a power-sharing agreement in a future political system during the next four months. The immediate sticking issue is the release of some 5,000 predominantly Taliban prisoners.
The agreement commits the United States “to work with all relevant sides on a plan to expeditiously release combat and political prisoners as a confidence-building measure with the coordination and approval of all relevant sides. But the Taliban, have already rejected a March 10 decree by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani that stipulated a phased conditional release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners.
Considering the past experiences, some of the Taliban fighters that were released on the basis of Afghan government’s goodwill gesture for peace, returned back to the combat fields and started to attack Afghan civilians the security forces. Therefore, the Afghan government has been seeking guarantee for the release of the prisoners, to avoid the bitter experiences of the pasts.
But Taliban continued to blackmail the Afghan people with their attacks, saying if their prisoners were not released, they will continue to attack cities and Afghan forces. The insurgents even have been kidnapping people, attacking security personnel and planting mines on the country’s major highways after singing deal with US in Doha.
Afghanistan as any other democratic countries, has an elected president as well as has a legitimate government that represents Afghanistan at the regional and international levels. Therefore, the government has the full authority to decide on the fate of prisoners, who were arrested while engaged in war against the Afghan forces are carrying out attacks on Afghan masses.
In recent days, Taliban leaders have turned to social media, asking Afghan government and its international partners to release their prisoners, otherwise they would be affected with COVID-19. Contrary to their remarks, thousands of innocent Afghan people who live under their territory lack essential medical facilitates and even the group prevent Polio vaccination campaigns and other medical supports.
As per the first vice president-elect Amrullah Saleh’s remarks, someone (the ISI) should tell Taliban’s Quetta Shura that COVID-19 can’t be killed by IEDs, suicide bombers, ambushes or roadside bombs. They first should allow people in the districts they control to have access to information & medical services, then start to lobby for their demands.
Since the Taliban leadership signed a deal with US and now seeking their prisoners release and beginning of the intra-Afghan talks, it must convince all its military generals and rank and file to stop their terrorist activities and be disarmed. Moreover, their masters, mainly Pakistan that has given them safe havens, should pressure the group to honor its commitments. 

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.