Afghan Taliban releases 3 Indian engineers in exchange for its 11 members, after talks with US

SUKIRTI MISHRA 07/10/2019 11:28 AM



--Afghan Taliban have confirmed that it has freed at least three Indian hostages

--The prisoner swap was done in the early hours of Sunday

--The release of Indian prisoners is being confirmed by the Afghan Taliban


Islamabad. The ice-breaking meeting between Afghan Taliban and US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad in Islamabad finally yielded positive results after a prisoner swap agreement was compiled with the release of at least 3 Indian engineers under Taliban custody since 2018. The Afghan Taliban have confirmed of liberating at least 3 Indian hostages in exchange for the release of at least 11 Taliban members including important leaders. 


The freed Afghan Taliban includes prominent leaders Sheikh Abdul Rahim and Maulvi Abdur Rashid. Both these Taliban leaders have served as governors of Kunar and Nimroz provinces during the Taliban administration before the US-led intervention in 2001. The swap reportedly occurred in the early hours of Sunday on October 6, at an undisclosed location. 
According to trustworthy sources, the Afghan Taliban members were freed from the Bagram airbase by the US forces, implying that the prisoner swap deal was done between the Taliban and the United States. The release of Indian prisoners is being confirmed by the Afghan Taliban but Afghan government has not yet verified the same. Meanwhile, the Indian government has also not been notified of the release of Indian engineers. 


The Indian government sources maintain that they are in touch with the Afghanistan government as reports of the release have brought to their notice. Evidently, several Indian engineers working for a power plant in Afghanistan's Northern Baghlan Province were abducted on May 2018. None of the groups had claimed responsibility of kidnapping. Furthermore, of the 7 hostages, one was released in March. 






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