Tags: War on Terrorism | Afghanistan | afghanistan | pakistan | taliban | prisoner | release

Afghan Negotiator Welcomes Prisoner Release

Tuesday, 01 Jan 2013 04:19 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan — A top Afghan negotiator says he hopes eight members of the Taliban released by Pakistan will serve as mediators in the effort to end the 11-year war in Afghanistan.

Pakistan set the prisoners free Monday in an apparent bid to boost the peace process. The captives include the former justice minister when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan before their 2001 overthrow and a onetime guard of Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

Ismail Qasemyar, a senior member of the Afghan High Peace Council, on Tuesday called the release a "good, practical" step in the peace process and hoped more would follow.

It was not known whether the eight actually favored negotiations but Qasemyar said it was hoped they would act as intermediaries between the Taliban leadership and the Kabul government.

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