Afghan Government Postpones Prisoner Release, Endangering Deal – Associated Press
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - The Afghan government Saturday postponed the release of 1,500 Taliban prisoners, an Afghan official said, a decision that could sabotage a peace deal signed last month between the Taliban and the United States.
Jawed Faisal, spokesman for the Afghan National Security Adviser's office, said the releases were being delayed because more time was needed to review the list of prisoners. The move came despite President Ashraf Ghani's decree earlier this week promising the start of the releases Saturday as a goodwill gesture to get intra-Afghan negotiations started.
The U.S.-Taliban deal was touted at the time as the best chance at ending Afghanistan's wars and bringing U.S. troops home after nearly 19 years.
There was no immediate response from the Taliban to the delayed prisoner release.
Faisal said Ghani's government wanted more time to review the list of prisoners. The U.S.-Taliban deal called for the release of up to 5,000 Taliban as well as 1,000 Afghan government captives ahead of intra-Afghan negotiations, considered a critical next step to reaching a lasting peace in Afghanistan…