Taliban releases 'pointless' for Afghan peace: officials.
|Afghan and US officials, at the time of Abdul Ghani|
Baradar's arrest, hadaccused Pakistan of
sabotaging peace efforts by arresting him.
KABUL | AFP | 14 Sep 2013 :: Afghan officials say Pakistan's release of 33 Taliban prisoners from jail, a policy initially trumpeted by Kabul as an opportunity to ignite peace talks, has resulted in no concrete progress.
The Afghan government, desperately searching for a way to negotiate peace before Nato troops leave next year, has said that the release of influential insurgents could encourage their comrades to the negotiating table.
But despite the 33 Afghan Taliban prisoners released by Pakistan and dozens of others freed in Afghanistan, there is still no peace process and some fighters have returned to the battlefield.
The Taliban still refuse publicly to deal with the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, branding him a US puppet.
They have also shown no willingness to participate in elections on April 5, 2014 when Karzai will step aside for a new leader for the first time since the 2001 US-led invasion.
Instead their readiness to negotiate with the Americans about a prisoner swap has only infuriated Karzai, who late last month asked Pakistan to help find a direct channel of communication.
In parts of Afghanistan, which continue to suffer daily from Taliban violence, the releases have been met with incomprehension if not anger by local government officials.
“The Taliban who are released... rejoin the battlefield again,” said Zurawar Zahid, police chief of the flashpoint southern province of Ghazni.
“We put our lives in danger to arrest them, but the central government releases them under different pretences,” he added.
Zahid told AFP that more than 40 Taliban, including some senior commanders, who were recently freed from Ghazni central prison on Karzai's orders have gone back to the battlefield.(Courtesy:Dawn)