President Ghani signs decree to release over 70 prisoners of Hezb-e-Islami

Ghani-and-HekmatyarKABUL: President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has signed a decree for the release of the first batch of Hezb-e-Islam prisoners.

The first batch of the prisoners to be released from the jails will include over 70 inmates.

The officials in ARG Palace said last month that the release of Hezb-e-Islami prisoners will kick off as the per the peace agreement and with the return of the party’s leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani also chaired the National Security Council meeting late in February and instructed the relevant authorities to take immediate steps in implementation of the peace deal with Hezb-e-Islami.

The peace agreement between Hezb-e-Islami and the Afghan government was signed in September last year, months after negotiations between the Afghan High Peace Council and the Hezb-e-Islami delegation.

The release of the prisoners of Hezb-e-Islami from the jails was one of the main conditions of the peace agreement between the two sides.

The conclusion of peace agreement resulted into the exclusion of Hekmatyar’s name from the United Nations Security Council sanctions list and his return to Afghanistan.

Hekmatyar arrived in eastern Laghman province of Afghanistan last week and appeared in a gathering for the first time in nearly 20 years.

He also attended a gathering in eastern Nangarhar province on Sunday in the presence of high level government officials, including the second vice president Mohammad Sarwar Danish. -KP

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