Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Tuesday two senior Taliban commanders and a leader of the Haqqani militant group will be released in exchange for an American and an Australian professor kidnapped in 2016 by Taliban.
The government’s decision to free Anas Haqqani and two other Taliban commanders in a prisoner swap was taken in the hope of securing direct talks with the Taliban, which has hitherto refused to engage with what it calls an illegitimate “puppet” regime in Kabul.
“In order to pave the way for a face-to-face negotiations with the Taliban, the government has decided to free Taliban prisoners in exchange for two university professors,” Ghani said in a televised speech.
The Taliban had kidnapped U.S. citizen Kevin King and an Australian Timothy Weeks, both professors, in August 2016 from the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. (NAN)