Afghanistan unhappy with U.S.-Taliban prisoners’ trade

Taliban fighters

Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, has frequently called for the release of Afghan citizens held in Guantanamo Bay.

The Afghan government voiced opposition on Monday in Kabul to the release of five high-level Taliban members from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp last weekend.

It said sending the Talibans to Qatar could be against international law.

The U.S. government had on Saturday freed five senior figures in the Taliban after they had spent 13 years in custody, in exchange for U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.

He was captured by the Taliban in June 2009.

“If the government of the U.S. has handed over the Afghan citizens to Qatar with the purpose of limiting their freedom, this is clearly against international laws,’’ the Afghan Foreign Ministry said.

Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, has frequently called for the release of Afghan citizens held in Guantanamo Bay.

He had consequently made it a condition of the signing of a security pact with the U.S.

The ministry said the U.S. and Qatar governments should have freed them “with no conditions’’.

The releases were made after indirect talks mediated by Qatar, an earlier Taliban statement said, adding that the released men would stay in Qatar with their families.

Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, called the swap a victory.

Amidst criticism from political opponents, U.S. Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel, defended the swap on Sunday, saying Mr. Bergdahl’s life was in danger.

(dpa/NAN)

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