Karzai wants Taliban freed as goodwill gesture
KABUL: Former president Hamid Karzai on Wednesday asked the warning parties to enter a wide-ranging ceasefire and urged the Afghan government to release some Taliban prisoners as a goodwill gesture.
A statement from the Karzai media’s office to Pajhwok Afghan News said the ex-president would welcome a positive outcome of the peace negations between the US and Taliban representatives in Doha, the capital of Qatar.
Karzai said due to latest progress in the peace process, all the sides should stop war and bloodshed and agree on a comprehensive ceasefire as early as possible.
He said: “I have a request from the Afghan government to free a number of innocent and disabled Taliban prisoners as a goodwill gesture without any delay.”
Hamid Karzai hoped the outcome of the ongoing peace negotiations would be a sovereignty and progressive Afghanistan.
Earlier, US special representative for Afghan peace Zalmay Khalilzad on Tuesday said that after agreement on withdrawal and counterterrorism, the next steps would be intra-Afghan negotiations for a political settlement and comprehensive ceasefire.
Khalilzad tweeted, “Just finished a marathon round of talks with the Taliban in #Doha. The conditions for #peace have improved. It’s clear all sides want to end the war. Despite ups and downs, we kept things on track and made real.”
The envoy wrote “peace requires agreement on four issues: counter-terrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan dialogue, and a comprehensive ceasefire. In January talks, we “agreed in principle” on these four elements. We’re now “agreed in draft” on the first two.”
“When the agreement in draft about a withdrawal timeline and effective counterterrorism measures is finalized, the Taliban and other #Afghans, including the government, will begin intra-Afghan negotiations on a political settlement and comprehensive ceasefire.” Khalilzad tweeted. (Pajhwok)