The Afghan government and the Taliban are set to meet in Doha within days of the prisoner release being completed. Afghan authorities have started to release Taliban prisoners, the final hurdle in long-delayed peace talks between the two warring sides, even as President Ashraf Ghani warned they were a “danger to the world”. A group of 80 prisoners was released on Thursday, National Security Council spokesman Javid Faisal said, tweeting it would “speed up efforts for direct talks and a lasting, nationwide ceasefire”. The release of the prisoners was approved at the weekend after a three-day Loya Jirga, a traditional Afghan meeting of tribal elders and other stakeholders, held to decide on momentous issues. The prisoner release is part of the US-Taliban agreement signed in February, which saw Washington agree to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in return for a pledge from the armed group to hold peace talks with the Afghan government. The Trump administration pressured President Ghani’s government, which was not part of the pact signed in the Qatari capital Doha, to free the Taliban inmates as US elections approach. Troops withdrawal was one of Trump’s campaign promises in elections. The prisoners also include some 44 fighters of particular concern to the United States and other countries for their role in “high-profile” attacks.

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The Associated Press Staff. KABUL — A traditional council met Friday in Kabul to decide whether to release a final Taliban prisoners, the last hurdle to negotiations between Afghanistan’s political leadership and the Taliban under a peace deal the insurgents signed with the United States earlier this year. The meeting of the council of elders, known as Loya Jirga, was initially expected to last three days but could end as early as Saturday. The Kabul-Taliban negotiations are seen as a critical step toward lasting peace in Afghanistan and a roadmap to what the country might look like after decades of war, with the Taliban joining the political mainstream.

They are also to decide what constitutional changes would be made in a post-war Afghanistan, and how the rights of women and minorities would be protected. The negotiations would also determine the fate of the tens of thousands of heavily armed men on both sides of the conflict — the Taliban on one side, and the warlords and armed militias loyal to Kabul on the other.

English News and Press Release on Afghanistan and other countries about Our foreign assistance funding to date for the response to the communication networks with modern and traditional methods and to call on.

Throughout history Afghanistan has seen numerous military campaigns most notably by the Mongols, Muslim Arabs, British and the Soviet Union due to its key location on the Silk Road, connecting it to the Middle East and other parts of Asia. Afghanistan is divided by the Hindu Kush Mountains running across the country making up the central highlands; these mountains also form part of the Himalayas.

The country has a largely arid climate with hot, dry summers and cold winters with high levels of snowfall particularly in the central highlands. Some Areas in the East of the country bordering Pakistan are affected by the Indian monsoon which brings moist, maritime, tropical air in the summer. The current population of Afghanistan is estimated at approximately 32 million people, with many who had fled the troubles now starting to return.

At one point the Afghan refugee population in Pakistan alone reached 3. The capital city Kabul is the largest in Afghanistan with a population of over three and a half million people. Situated 5, feet above sea level on a barren plateau surrounded by rugged, treeless mountains, Kabul guards the entrance to the Khyber Pass, the traditional route between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The city lies in the eastern part of the country, miles from the Pakistan border. Located in the city are multiple five star hotels which include the Marriot and the Serena Hotel. Kabul also has shopping centres such as the Roshan Shopping Center, Park Mall and Majeed Mall as well as numerous museums, a golf club and the zoo that once housed the famous lion Marjan. A new international terminal, built by the government of Japan, opened in Other major airports in Afghanistan can be found in Kandahar and Mazar-i-sharif.

There are two main languages spoken in Afghanistan, Dari and Pashtu.

Culture of Afghanistan

The culture of Afghanistan has persisted for over three millennia , tracing record to at least the time of the Achaemenid Empire in BCE. Nearly all Afghans follow Islamic traditions , celebrate the same holidays, dress the same , consume the same food , listen to the same music and are multi-lingual to a certain extent. In the southern and eastern region, the Pashtuns live in accordance with the Pashtun culture and are usually bilingual in Pashto and Dari also known as Afghan Persian [4] The western, northern, and central regions of Afghanistan are influenced by neighboring Central Asian and Persian cultures.

The lands of Afghanistan have a long history of art , with the world’s earliest known usage of oil painting found in cave murals in the country. Since the s, the nation began to use Western techniques in art.

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Remember this is only a very basic level introduction to Afghan culture and the people; it can not account for the diversity within Afghan society and is not meant in any way to stereotype all people you may meet in the country. Before touching upon Afghan culture, it’s important to recognise the trauma caused by over 40 years of continued war and its devastating impact on Afghanistan’s people, culture and society.

Afghanistan has historically been a peaceful country; during World War II, for example, they remained neutral and neither suffered nor launched attacks on others. However, it has been necessary for them to defend their country from invasions most recently from the Soviet Union and British while also fighting the Taliban and jihadist groups such as Al Qaeda. In the Kandahar Province, April , for example, Afghan authorities arrested the head of the Daesh terrorist group and 20 of his commanders.

These external threats have decimated older generations and created a country in which the average age of an Afghan is 18 years old – compared to 40 years old for someone living in Britain or the USA. Almost all expressions of Afghan culture are shaped by a deeply rooted belief in the Islamic religion. These beliefs drive everything from the way someone dresses, greets others, uses the bathroom, eats, sleeps and works.

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Opportunities

Knee-length skirts, high heels and walking freely down the street: it’s hard to believe that this was Kabul in June Browse through this gallery and see how dramatically women’s dress in Afghanistan has changed over the years. Covered from head to toe, women walk on the outskirts of Jalalabad, accompanied by a liberally-dressed boy, in October

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Afghan council frees Taliban prisoners to set up peace talks

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Photo: AP Photo. The council concluded Sunday with hundreds of delegates agreeing to free Taliban members, paving the way for an early start to negotiations between Afghanistan’s warring sides. A traditional Afghan council concluded Sunday with hundreds of delegates agreeing to free Taliban members, paving the way for an early start to negotiations between Afghanistan’s warring sides. The declaration calls for an immediate start to negotiations and a cease-fire, and was read out in both of Afghanistan’s official languages, Pashto and Farsi.

The move looks to bring the United States a little closer to bringing home its troops and ending its longest military engagement. No date has been set, but negotiations between Kabul’s political leadership and the Taliban are expected to begin as early as next week and will most likely be held in the Mideast state of Qatar, where the Taliban maintains a political office. The Afghan negotiations were laid out in a peace deal signed by the U.

Unveiled: Afghan women past and present

But while small, it holds opportunity for engagement and expression. By mapping Afghan influencers online and surveying users about their comfort with, reasons for, and use of social media, this Internews report paints a picture and offers a repository of data on the changing nature of social media in Afghanistan and how it may shape public discourse in the future. It details the issues of rights and harassment online, particularly for women.

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We use cookies to improve our service for you. You can find more information in our data protection declaration. Afghanistan has refused to release more prisoners until the Taliban do, meaning important peace talks set to take place this week have stalled once again. France and Australia are backing Afghanistan’s position. The Afghan government said Monday it would not release the remaining Taliban prisoners, stalling peace talks that are set to go ahead in a couple of days.

France and Australia previously spoke out against the release. Some of the prisoners set to be releases have committed violent attacks on Afghans and foreigners. Since then the Afghan administration has released 80 prisoners, but then halted its release program.

Afghanistan halts Taliban prisoner release, stalls peace talks

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Afghan authorities have started to release a final batch of Taliban prisoners, removing the last obstacle to talks between the government in Kabul and the insurgents. The Associated Press also reported that 20 August had been suggested as a possible start date, citing several Afghan leaders. The Afghan government has already released thousands of Taliban fighters under a deal agreed between Washington and the militants that allowed US troops to return home and was meant to set the stage for negotiations between the Afghan parties on a new political settlement.

It foresaw the release of 5, Taliban prisoners and 1, Afghan soldiers and officials. Some have been implicated in bombings in Kabul and attacks on foreign troops. He held a loya jirga, a traditional gathering of cross-faction political elites, to decide whether to go ahead with the releases. It approved setting the men free in an effort to make peace, a decision Ghani described as dangerous but necessary.

Javid Faisal, a spokesman for the national security council, announced on Friday that the first 80 had been released.

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