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In an effort to bring peace to the country, the Afghan government has released nearly 250 militants formerly held by the US. A total of 400 prisoners will be released by the end of the week.
DAWN reports that 3,000 US-prisoners were transferred to Afghan control as part of the drawdown of US and Nato forces. US forces in the country insist on the continued imprisonment of detainees that they believe are too dangerous to release, but Kabul has insisted on releasing large numbers of former militants.
Afghan Police Maj. Jalal Uddin says that he is sure the released prisoners can help to bring peace in Afghanistan and that they will support the new government. The freed prisoners, it is hoped, will act as liaisons between Kabul and the Taliban. Self-sustaining peace is a priority in the country, as Western forces will be almost entirely withdrawn by the end of 2014.
The US public, according to Benny Avni’s column in the NY Post, is tired of war and tired of being so heavily engaged abroad. But, the US policy of troop drawdown in Afghanistan comes with a caveat. Once US-led Nato operations in the country are completed in the next two years, the NY Post says, the Taliban may regain control of the country.
Taliban spokesmen have compared the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan to the end of the Vietnam War, when America “declared victory and ran”. On Wednesday, a Taliban spokesman characterized America’s strategy as “transfer security and run”.
The release of the prisoners comes at the same time as a report of more successful drone strikes in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. On Thursday, officials confirmed the death of Al-Qaeda leader, Mullah Nazir, along with his militant companions.