Taliban Warns Govt Against Execution of its Jailed Members

The Taliban in a statement on Thursday warned the Afghan government of severe response if any of its members cutting jails are executed. The group said that peace process and execution cant move together.

A Taliban spokesman has claimed that all those 5,000 Taliban prisoners who were released recently from the Afghan government jails as part of the US-Taliban peace agreement had been sentenced to death by the Afghan courts, warning that any mistreatment of the remaining prisoners will pose serious harms to the peace process.

Meanwhile,l officials of Directorate of Prisons have said that over 1,000 prisoners have been sentenced to death by the courts in Afghanistan.

The Directorate of Prisons however refrained to give an exact figure about the political prisoners.

This comes few days after Afghanistan’s First Vice President Amrullah Saleh called on the Afghan legal and judicial system to order the death penalties for the arrested Taliban members to help improve the security situations.

But, a Taliban spokesman has told TOLOnews that all those 5,000 Taliban members recently released by the government were sentenced to death and now there are no Taliban members on death row.

“The Taliban’s killing machine was not stopped despite the release of over 5,000 prisoners from the jails on goodwill gestures, the call for execution of these prisoners is a legitimate call,” said Mohammad Baqir Kazimi, member of Saleh’s office.

“The executive body is not supposed to be the decision maker, this is the responsibility of the legal system, they have their own calculations about the crimes committed and about the punishments,” said Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, a military analyst.

“We should do something which is in the favor of the people and the country,” said MP Parwiz Arabzada.

But the Office of the First Vice President has said that the execution of Taliban-affiliated prisoners who have pleaded guilty is the wish of the families of the victims of the violent incidents that were caused in the Taliban attacks.

This comes a day after Waheed Omar, President Ghani’s senior adviser for public and strategic affairs said that the Afghan government will not release more Taliban prisoners, and said that previous releases has resulted in more violence.

“We are not in favor of releasing more Taliban prisoners,” Omar said.

This comes as the Taliban has demanded the release of 7,000 more prisoners, the removal of the group’s members from the UN blacklist, and the formation of an Islamic system in order to continue the peace talks, according to peace talks.

The release of over 5,000 Taliban prisoners before was intended to reduce violence as the part of the peace process, Omar said, but “violence has increased because of it.”

In the meantime, Republic negotiator Abdul Hafiz Mansoor on Monday said that the negotiating team has decided that the legitimacy of the war must be discussed with the Taliban before any progress can be made.

He said the talks will not have an outcome until this issue is clarified.

On Sunday, the chief negotiators from the Afghan republic and the Taliban met; however, the working groups from both sides failed to meet on Monday to finalize the agenda for the talks.

The US-Taliban deal signed on February 29 last year raised hopes among Afghans for a reduction in violence but the Taliban, in defiance of the international community, continued their attacks against the Afghan government forces.

However, so far, there has been no major progress between the Republic negotiating team and Taliban.

Over the past few months, Afghanistan has also grappled with a spate of targeted attacks on civil society members and the journalists.

The Afghan government has blamed the Taliban for the attacks.

But the Taliban has denied involvement.