World Bulletin/News Desk
A deal for the release of 13 prisoners was struck at a meeting between the Pakistan government and the Taliban negotiating committee in Islamabad on Saturday to accelerate the ongoing peace process aimed at bringing an end to the 11 year-long insurgency.
Briefing the media at the meeting, Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan said the government will release 13 Taliban prisoners.
"The process of releasing non-combatant prisoners from both sides will be initiated," the minister said.
The Pakistan government on Thursday also released 16 non-combatant Taliban prisoners in South Waziristan, however the Taliban said the 16 released prisoners were not included in their list of 300 requested prisoners.
Nisar said the Taliban should return the favor to the government by releasing the non-combatant hostages, including son of former Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, and a vice chancellor of a state-owned university.
Professor Ibrahim Khan, a member of the Taliban negotiating committee told Anadolu Agency that the team will negotiate the release of non-combatant hostages within a few days with the Taliban leadership.
He said the Taliban operating under the banner of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), will certainly respond to the government's goodwill gesture positively.
Currently, the security forces and the TTP are observing the ceasefire until April 10, which has reduced acts of violence in the South Asian nuclear Muslim state by 50 percent since March 1, when the TTP announced its ceasefire.
Last Mod: 06 Nisan 2014, 09:58