In what is possibly his first official comment as the new spokesman, Wardak posted his message on Twitter and said: “The process of release of prisoners of the Islamic Emirate [Taliban] has not been finalized yet, the release of some prisoners is still pending and work is underway.”
He then said once the prisoner release process is complete, the group’s negotiating team will be ready to start intra-Afghan negotiations.
No further details were given but Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Monday that there were no “major issues” causing the delay, adding that they were waiting for six prisoners to be released.
These six are responsible for having killed Australian and French nationals and instead of being freed will reportedly be sent to Qatar where they will be held under supervision.
This comes after the Taliban negotiating team held its first meeting on Sunday to discuss intra-Afghan negotiations, a statement from the group read.
According to the group, the meeting was chaired by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
Mawlawi Abdul Hakim Haqqani was introduced as the new head of the Taliban’s negotiating team, and Mohammad Naeem Wardak as the spokesman.