Media reported that the General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Centers of the Kabul administration declared that out of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, the administration has some reservations about 600 individuals on the list. They alleged that 600 prisoners out of those 5000 whose list was handed over to them by Taliban have criminal and rights-related cases therefore there is little possibility of their release.
There were several previous attempts at obstructing the prisoner release process prior to this as well. For instance it was said that the issue of United Nations blacklist has not yet been resolved and that the Doha agreement does not mention the release of that 5000 prisoners instead it states that up to 5000 prisoners will be freed.
It is important to say that the blacklist issue of United Nations does not concern individuals in Afghan prisons especially the names provided in the 5000 detainee list because there is no individual in the list who has been blacklisted by the UN. So this excuse is unjustifiable.
The legal complications excuse also holds no water because the prisoner release process has started due to an agreement. Here, the opposite side is forced to break all legal limits because if they don’t, they will fail in pushing this process forward due to the fact the no prisoner can be released according to their own legal principles.
The other issue of accusing these prisoners of having criminal cases is also irrational because the Kabul administration has arrested these individuals on grounds of Mujahideen ties and held them under political captives category so now moving them to criminal prisoners category is nothing but an excuse.
The third issue mentioned in the Doha agreement that “up to 5000 prisoners” will be released instead of exactly 5000 does not mean that the release of hundreds of captives can be withheld. Instead, it was discussed that hypothetically speaking if two, three, five or six individuals remained in detention on grounds acceptable to both sides, in such a scenario the negotiation process must not be delayed.
But now if the opposition is withholding the release of hundreds of prisoners by misusing this wording, then such is not rational and can harm the peace process.
The stance of Islamic Emirate is clear. The Afghan peace process should progress in accordance with the contents of the Doha agreement. But if any plan other than this is implemented or obstacles and pretexts created in pursuit of ulterior motives then it is very clear that peace process will be derailed, hence the Islamic Emirate does not believe in following any other plan.
Islamic Emirate is completely committed to every clause of the agreement related to us and the opposite side should also honor its commitments. Therefore, if the release of hundreds of prisoners are withheld, it means that the prisoner release process has not been completed and the peace process is jeopardized.