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Pakistan agrees to release Afghan Taliban prisoners: Official

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

ISLAMABAD, Nov 15, IRNA -- Pakistan has agreed to release Afghan Taliban prisoners, a member of an Afghan peace delegation said in Islamabad on Thursday after concluding talks with Pakistani leaders.

The agreement reached during talks between Pakistan and Salahuddin Rabbani, chairman of the Afghan Peace Council and Pakistani leaders, a member of the council, Abdul Waheed Mubariz said.

Mubariz told reporters that the release of Taliban prisoners will benefit Afghanistan and Taliban as they will begin normal life and will reintegrate in the society.

Mubariz said there was substantial progress in the talks between the Afghan peace council and Pakistani leaders and Islamabad promised to free Taliban prisoners during the visit.

'They are Afghans, the sons of our soil and we are happy that they will be freed.'

'It will also encourage more Taliban to come to the negotiation table, to enter normal life and to join political efforts,' the peace council member said.

He said Taliban can take part in the election in 2014 and can field their candidate. He did not give any details about the number of the Taliban to be freed.

The peace council member said that the atmosphere during the three-talks was very good and collaboration between the two sides has increased.

He said that he is hopeful of the commitment shown by President Asif Zaradri, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

He said there had been no differences during the interaction despite the fact that it was the beginning of the peace council talks in Pakistan after the assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani in September last year.

'Both sides agreed to develop their relations about peace in Afghanistan. They will cooperate. There will be more coordination and more contacts.'

Mubariz said Pakistan has promised to help in peace process adding that Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar told the Afghan delegation during the talks that Pakistan will give a strong message to Taliban to come and negotiate.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80417190

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