Pakistani Lawmaker Says Unconditional Prisoner Release Needed To Revive Intra-Afghan Talks

Pakistani Lawmaker Says Unconditional Prisoner Release Needed to Revive Intra-Afghan Talks

The unconditional release of detainees by both the Afghan government and the Taliban group is the only way to resume intra-Afghan peace talks, Saleem Mandviwalla, the deputy chairman of Pakistan's upper house, told Sputnik on Thursday

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 09th April, 2020) The unconditional release of detainees by both the Afghan government and the Taliban group is the only way to resume intra-Afghan peace talks, Saleem Mandviwalla, the deputy chairman of Pakistan's upper house, told Sputnik on Thursday.

"I am sure [that] the unconditional release of prisoners by both sides will help revive the process," Mandviwalla said, adding that good faith should be demonstrated by all involved parties so that the process could move forward.

The lawmaker emphasized that the potential peace process should be inclusive to ensure its sustainability.

Under the recently signed peace deal between the Taliban and Washington, intra-Afghan talks were set to start on March 10, but the negotiations have been delayed due to Afghanistan's electoral crisis and Kabul's initial reluctance to exchange prisoners with the Taliban.

The Taliban has demanded the release of up to 5,000 members from Afghan prisons before talks commence. In response, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced that the prisoners would be released gradually, depending on the success of the negotiations.