The Office National Security Council reports that 83 Taliban prisoners have been released by the government within the past two days, bringing the total of Taliban released prisoners to 933.
As per President Ghani’s decree, given the health status, age, and length of the remaining sentence, the Taliban prisoner release continues as part of the efforts to bring pave the ground for peace talks as well as to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.
It is worth mentioning that according to Taliban Political Office Spokesperson Suhail Shaheen, Mullah Baradar, the Taliban’s deputy, and his delegation met with US Representative Khalilzad in the presence of the Qatari Foreign Ministry Special Envoy Mutaliq Al-Qahtani Wednesday in Doha, Qatar.
The meeting focused on accelerating the prisoner releases, starting intra-Afghan talks, and the full implementation of the agreement signed with the US, Shaheen added.
Confirming Khalilzad’s trip, the US State Department said, “At each stop, he will urge support for an immediate reduction in violence, accelerated timeline for the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, and cooperation among all sides in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in Afghanistan.”
Earlier, the Taliban expressed its concern over its men in prison amid the Coronavirus threat, noting their release as a precondition to start the intra-Afghan talks.
BRIEF HISTORY: SINCE 2002, PRESS RESTRICTIONS WERE GRADUALLY RELAXED AND PRIVATE MEDIA DIVERSIFIED. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND THE PRESS IS PROMOTED IN 2004.
SINCE THEN MORE THAN 30 AFGHANISTAN BASED TELEVISION CHANNELS BOTH TERRESTRIAL AND SATELLITE AND AROUND 100 RADIO FM STATIONS STARTED OPERATION IN THE COUNTRY.
FOREIGN RADIO STATIONS, SUCH AS VOICE OF AMERICA AND BBC WORLD SERVICE, ALSO BROADCAST INTO THE COUNTRY.