Rahimullah Yusufzai reports on the recent release of Afghan Taliban prisoners by Islamabad, looking at the impact this could have on the tense relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and on prospects for peace in the region.
There was slight improvement in the uneasy relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan recently when Islamabad released several Afghan Taliban prisoners at the request of the High Peace Council in a bid to advance the stalled peace process.
It was the first time that Afghanistan’s High Peace Council had achieved anything concrete during its more than two-year existence. The breakthrough was made when the council’s nine-member delegation paid a four-day visit to Pakistan in mid-November. The visit was to have taken place earlier but was delayed to prepare the ground for more fruitful talks between the two sides. The delay was worthwhile and the outcome appeared to be in line with some of the expectations of the High Peace Council. The satisfying nature of the visit was reflected in the statements issued by the delegation members on their return to Kabul.
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