Pakistan on Sunday welcomed the Afghan Loya Jirga’s recommendation to release remaining 400 prisoners, hoping the step would pave way for early commencement of intra-Afghan negotiations. After three-day debates, Afghan Loya Jirga, an assembly of elders, chieftains and notables, Sunday recommended the Afghan government to release 400 Taliban prisoners.

The release of prisoners is part of the US-Taliban peace deal inked on February 29 in Doha to facilitate the intra-Afghan dialogue. The Afghan government has already released 4,600 inmates.

“We hope that with implementation of this step relating to the prisoners’ release, as envisaged in the US-Taliban Peace Agreement, the intra-Afghan negotiations will commence at the earliest,” Foreign Office Spokesperson said in a statement.

Pakistan has repeatedly emphasized that Afghan leaders must seize this historic opportunity and work together constructively through intra-Afghan negotiations to secure a comprehensive, broad-based and inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan.

The spokesperson urged the international community to reinforce its support for the success of intra-Afghan negotiations for sustained and durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.

“For its part, Pakistan has consistently supported an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. Pakistan’s positive contribution to the process is internationally recognized,” he resolved.

Pakistan reaffirms its support for a peaceful, stable, united, democratic, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself and with its neighbours.