Afghan Peace Deal: 5,000 Taliban PoWs To Be Released; US To Withdraw In 14 Months

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Diplomats from the Afghanistan, United States, India, Pakistan and other members of the United Nations gathered alongside the Taliban representatives in Doha.

Written By Aishwaria Sonavane | Mumbai | Updated On:
Taliban

As the United States and the Taliban are set to sign the historic peace agreement, Afghanistan is likely to release 5,000 prisoners of the armed group as per the deal. The peace deal is likely to foresee a full withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan within 14 months, a joint agreement between the Afghan government and the US said. 

Diplomats from the Afghanistan, United States, India, Pakistan and other members of the United Nations gathered alongside the Taliban representatives in Doha's Sheraton Hotel on Saturday. The deal if signed, will end the 18-year-old long war of the United States in Afghanistan. 

"The United States will reduce the number of US military forces in Afghanistan to 8,600 and implement other commitments in the US-Taliban agreement within 135 days of the announcement of this joint declaration and the US-Taliban agreement and will work with its allies and the Coalition to reduce proportionally the number of Coalition forces in Afghanistan over an equivalent period, subject to the Taliban’s fulfillment of its commitments under the US-Taliban agreement," the joint Afghan-US declaration read. 

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, a member of the Taliban's office in Qatar, called the peace deal a 'historic day for Afghanistan' and told Afghanistan's TOLO News, "The US guaranteed that 5,000 prisoners would be released before the intra-Afghan talks."

READ| US ready to sign peace agreement with Taliban, says Donald Trump

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaking about the peace deal said that all contents in the agreement are 'conditions-based'. He added saying that the withdrawal of the foreign forces from the region will depend on the Taliban's fulfillment of their commitments.

He said, "On behalf of the people of Afghanistan, I thank the NATO organisation and the United States of America for their financial and military support." "Our sacrifice has been immense, both in the martyrdom of the ANDSF and our civilians. Children, youth in their prime, and men and women of all ages and walks of life had their lives taken away by senseless acts of terror and violence in public spaces."

Earlier on Saturday, the Taliban ordered its fighters to refrain from any attacks, as Kabul is set to sign an agreement to ensure peace in Afghanistan. According to media reports, the Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid hoped that the US remains committed to their promises made in the peace deal. The statement came after the reports of continued insurgent attacks during the partial truce between the Taliban, American, and Afghan forces. While Afghanistan still witnessed attacks from the Taliban, the numbers and intensity fell dramatically after the ‘reduction in violence’ pact signed last week. 

READ| Pakistan backs Taliban; counters India's support for democratic Afghan

Global community on US-Taliban deal

Major powers such as the US, Russia, and Iran had reached out to the Taliban as part of efforts to push the stalled Afghan peace process, that Donald Trump had abruptly declared as "dead" on September 10, 2019. India has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan controlled. India has also been maintaining that care should be taken to ensure that any such process does not lead to any "ungoverned spaces" where terrorists and their proxies can relocate.

(It's a developing story) 

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