Ghani orders release of Pakistani prisoners in goodwill gesture

Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul has welcomed President Ashraf Ghani’s decree ordering the release of a number of Pakistani prisoners.

Mansoor Ahmad Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador to Kabul tweeted Monday night: “Welcome decree by Afghan President H.E. Ashraf Ghani for release of Pakistani prisoners who have completed their terms and are not able to pay fines or those nearing completion of their terms. Appreciate this humanitarian gesture.”

A copy of the decree signed on November 18, was obtained by Pajhwok Afghan News, and states that based on the article 64 of the constitution, a number of Pakistani prisoners jailed in the country would be released as a goodwill gesture for strengthening relations between the two neighbors.

The first article of the decree says that Pakistani inmates whose prison terms end in a month should be freed.

Those Pakistani inmates who were fined, but could not pay the fines and for that reason had prison terms extended, should also be released, the decree’s second article states.

According to the third article of the decree, the commission responsible for enforcing presidential decrees on prisoners’ forgiveness and their remission of terms, should also enforce this decree.

This decree will be enforced from November 20.

A number of Pakistani nationals are imprisoned for different crimes in Afghanistan, but the exact number is not known.