Afghan peace and reconciliation process: Kabul asks Islamabad to release 5 influential militant ‘commanders’




The Afghan government, while showing desire for dialogues with Taliban and other militants operating on its soil, has demanded of the Government of Pakistan to hand over five influential militant commanders who can play key role in restoring peace and reconciliation process.

These five militants are among 35 others who are behind the bars in Pakistan. Adviser to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Reconciliation and Peace Affairs Muhammad Hanif Atmar recommended the names on the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York last month, an Afghan journalist working with Tolo TV Abulhaq Omeri reported.

According to the adviser, he had given the list of 35 commanders to Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, five of whom have influence in Taliban Shura and could play a role for peace in the war-ravaged Afghanistan.

Meeting between the two sides on the sidelines of the UNGA, followed by the recent visit of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to Kabul paved the way for Afghan president’s visit to Islamabad in the near future.

Another Afghan Interior Ministry official present at the Kabul meeting revealed names of the five commanders, including co-founder of Afghan Taliban Mullah Ghani Baradar, senior members of the so-called Quetta Shura Mullah Ahmadullah Nani, Mullah Sammad Sani, and Mullah Suliman Agha who was arrested from a seminary in Quetta’s Satellite Town along with four others on October 11 2014.

The two sides had agreed in principle to ink an agreement in the next session in Islamabad to exchange prisoners jailed in either side of the border.

However, the two neighbouring countries do not have in place a formal agreement for the exchange of prisoners. “Pakistan had also shared its concern with Afghan president about insurgency in FATA and Balochistan, with Kabul assuring that their soil will not be used against the brotherly country,” interior ministry official who was part of the delegation told Tolo TV.

The civil and military leaders will also sign an agreement to inform each other if one of the countries initiates a military operation in its side of the border against the other.


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