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ISLAMABAD: The release of Taliban prisoners by Pakistan, once seen as a critical move to bolster peace process, has come across a temporary halt due to renewed distrust between Islamabad and Kabul.
Officials said differences over the efficacy of the release of Taliban prisoners was the major factor in the momentary suspension of the process. Afghan authorities have claimed that many of the 26 mid-ranking to senior Taliban leaders freed by Pakistan last year had returned to the Taliban ranks.
“They (Afghans) contend that the release was causing more damage than benefit because of the absence of a monitoring mechanism,” said a Pakistani diplomat.
An Afghan official, speaking over phone from Kabul, looked sceptical about the effectiveness of the release of the detainees, a process started on the request of Afghan High Peace Council. “The biggest indicator before us is that there has been no major progress towards reconciliation and violence continues unabated,” he said.