Afghan peace process 'hasn't even begun', says US envoy

Islamabad, Jan. 18 (ANI): A real peace process in Afghanistan has not begun and the US does not know what has happened to the Taliban prisoners released by Pakistan, said James Cunningham, US envoy to Kabul.

Pakistan said 26 prisoners were freed late last year in a bid to kick-start peace talks ahead of the withdrawal of US-led NATO troops from Afghanistan, whose government is under pressure from an 11-year Taliban insurgency, reports The Express Tribune.

With the control of prisoners in Afghanistan a major issue between the US and the government of President Hamid Karzai, Cunningham said some freed prisoners had returned to Taliban ranks in senior positions in the past.

Cunningham said the goal is to begin a serious process on peace and reconciliation as soon as possible - but it hasn't been proven possible so far.

Washington began tentative moves towards peace with the Taliban a year ago. But the Taliban broke off talks a few months later, apparently over the failure of the US to free Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay.

Now the US is negotiating its exit from its longest war, pledging continued support for the Afghan government against an undefeated insurgency. (ANI)


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