Loya Jirga Approves Release of Taliban Prisoners

  • The chairman of the Jirga, Abdullah Abdullah, advised the release of six Taliban prisoners.
  • They also called for Afghan-led peace talks to begin in Afghanistan and for countries involved in Afghanistan to stop supporting the Taliban.
  • On the second day of the Peace Consultative Jirga, there was a commotion in the Jirga with the chairman.

According to the 1st Iranian Visual News Agency (Iran Press), today’s meeting of Afghanistan’s Loya Jirga for peace voted in favor of freeing 400 Taliban prisoners. The Loya Jirga ended this afternoon after the presentation of the working reports of the five committees. The final result of the Jirga will be announced tomorrow.

A loya jirga (“grand assembly”) is a special type of jirga, or legal assembly, in Pashtunwali, the traditional code of laws of the Pashtun people. It is mainly organized for choosing a new head of state in case of sudden death, adopting a new constitution, or to settle national or regional issue such as war.

On the second day of the Consultative Loya Jirga, after a plenary session of the leaders of the six committees and the chairman of the Jirga, the National Reconciliation High Council said that the committee leaders had made some recommendations for peace talks with the Taliban, and on national and international guarantees. He advised the release of six Taliban prisoners.

At the end of the second day’s session, Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the Consultative Loya Jirga, said the results would be officially announced tomorrow. Mr. Abdullah said if the working committee’s decision was approved by the lower house, it would be implemented soon.

The head of the Consultative Loya Jirga said that all members of the Loya Jirga wanted inter-Afghan talks to begin, and said that after the final decision of the Consultative Loya Jirga, inter-Afghan talks should begin three days later.

The leaders of the committees have advised the government not to delay talks for lasting peace, the National Reconciliation High Council said in a statement. The source said that a ceasefire should be declared immediately after the release of the Taliban prisoners, and both sides should keep their promises and peace talks should start as soon as possible.

They also called for Afghan-led peace talks to begin in Afghanistan and for countries involved in Afghanistan to stop supporting the Taliban. The committee leaders also called on the international community to guarantee lasting peace in the country.

They said the release of Taliban prisoners did not mean pardoning them for their crimes and that no one or any institution had the right to do so.

Dispute in the Jirga

Abdullah Abdullah is an Afghan politician who leads the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), which is expected to lead the intra-Afghan peace talks with the Taliban. He served as Chief Executive Officer of the Unity Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan from September 2014 until March 2020.

On the second day of the Peace Consultative Jirga, there was a commotion in the Jirga with the chairman. While Abdullah Abdullah was presenting the reports of the participants and the heads of the committees, some women protested.

There was a commotion during Abdullah’s joint meeting with the participants of the jirga, which Mr. Abdullah tried to control, but most of the disputants did not listen to Abdullah’s speech.

Mr. Abdullah, referring to the beating and expulsion of a participant in the previous day’s Jirga, said that beating is against the law:

“As the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation and the Consultative Peace Jirga, beating a person, whether a woman or a man, a member of parliament or a farmer, is not acceptable in any way.”

On the other hand, the General Directorate of Presidential Protection said in a statement that the conduct of the Special Guard of the Presidential Guard (PPS) has always been professional and standardized, stating that “none of our members commit acts of violence.”

“Unfortunately, the woman who physically assaulted Ms. Roshan was not a PPS member. He may have been a member of the jirga. It is better to investigate this case to clarify the matter further. We are sure of this incident.”

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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