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Thursday
Nov152012

Pakistan Hands Over Taliban Prisoners to Afghanistan

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(ISLAMABAD) -- In a move described by a Pakistani military official as “a step aimed at achieving peace in Afghanistan,” Pakistani intelligence sources confirmed to ABC News that “Pakistan has released at least ten Taliban prisoners” to Afghan authorities.  The release does not include any high-profile prisoners.

The release coincided with a visit to Pakistan by the Afghan High Peace Council delegation.  The move is viewed as an effort to aid the Afghan government’s reconciliation efforts with the Taliban to help restore peace in Afghanistan.

The Afghan High Peace Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan issued a joint statement afterwards in which both sides appealed to the Taliban and other armed opposition groups to participate in the Afghan-led reconciliation process to end violence.

Pakistan and the High Peace Council also called on the Taliban and other armed groups to sever all links with al Qaeda and other international terror networks.

The two sides reiterated that close and consistent cooperation is key to building trust and confidence between the two countries in overcoming violence and extremism.

The United States, which is planning to exit Afghanistan by 2014, had begun peace negotiations with the Taliban in Qatar earlier this year, but talks broke down in March.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio