Thousands of notables from Afghanistan, who are members of the "Grand Council" (the Loya Jirga), agreed last week to release 400 Taliban prisoners who had committed serious crimes, including attacks that targeted foreigners and Afghans, which led to the deaths.
After three days of discussions, Atefeh Tayeb, a member of the council, said that "in order to remove the obstacles that prevent the start of peace talks and stop the killing, and in the interests of the people, the Loya Jirga agreed to release the 400 prisoners demanded by the Taliban."
For his part, Abdullah Abdullah, the government official in charge of the talks, commented: "We are about to start peace negotiations."
The future of these prisoners is a prerequisite for starting negotiations between the Taliban and the government, which have agreed to exchange prisoners before the negotiations.
Kabul released about 5,000 prisoners, but was refusing to release the last 400.