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Any decision consultative Loya Jirg takes will be implemented by government

Afghan government will implement any decision that the upcoming consultative Loya Jirga on the fate of 400 Taliban prisoners takes, head of the commission for holding the grand assembly said on Wednesday.

An agreement reached by US and Taliban negotiators in Doha in February had agreed that 5,000 Taliban prisoners should be released before the group holds talks with the government.

The government has released all but 400, saying their crimes are too grave. President Ashraf Ghani has called for convening Loya Jirga over the issue, which is set to begin on Friday.

Ghani has said that he does not have the authority to release the group of prisoners who have been convicted of murder, drug trafficking and kidnapping and corruption.

Asked in a press conference if the Jirga has the authority to decide over cases involving victim’s right, Masoom Stanekzai, the head of commission for holding Loya Jirga, replied ‘no.’

He, however, noted that peace was a major national issue and people’s advice was needed in making big decisions.

Stanekzai, who is also the head of Afghan government’s negotiating team, said that there were no foreigners among the group of prisoners.