NSC asks Taliban to declare ceasefire, release civilians

By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: The National Security Council (NSC) on Saturday said the Taliban freed 60 people but they included only 19 military personnel and the rest were civilians.
NSC spokesman Javed Faisal told a press conference at the Government Media and Information Center on Saturday, that the Afghan government had released 361 Taliban prisoners, aiming to ease intra-Afghan talks.
The National Directorate of Security and the Attorney General’s Office thoroughly vetted the prisoners, who took an oath never to return to the battlefield, he added.
Faisal said 1,500 Taliban prisoners would be released in the first round by the Afghan government.
He said the Taliban also released 20 individuals in Laghman and 40 others in Kandahar province last week.
He said the Taliban claimed they released mostly government employees and security forces but in fact they were mostly civilians and surrenders to them.
He said out of the 20 freed by Taliban in Kandahar, 10 were civilians, including four under age boys.
He said out of the total 60 freed by the Taliban in Laghman, nine were Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers, 12 Afghan Local Police (ALP) personnel who had surrendered to them.
Faisal said the Afghan government had shared a list of their prisoners with the Taliban and had asked them to release them.
“They must also stop capturing and torturing civilians and minors. They must release all civilians in their custody immediately and commit to a ceasefire,” he added.
The spokesman also said that the twenty-eight of those released recently were taken by Taliban after the group signed the Doha deal and committed to releasing 1,000 ANDSF personnel.

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