The Taliban wants them sent to Qatar so they are not detained in Afghanistan. Of course, they’ll all just take up shuffleboard wherever they’re released. No security issues there.
The U.S. has “agreed in principle” to release high-ranking Taliban prisoners from GuantÃ¡namo Bay in what has appeared so far to be an exchange of concrete American actions for pledges from the Taliban. “Taliban ‘want US prisoners sent to Qatar’,” by Joris Fioriti for Agence France-Presse, January 6:
Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents have demanded in negotiations with the US that prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay be transferred to Qatar, an Afghan government spokesman said Friday.
But President Hamid Karzai’s government objects strongly to the move and wants the prisoners sent directly to Afghanistan, presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi told AFP.
The Taliban announced this week that they planned to set up a political office in Qatar, a move seen as a precursor to peace talks with Washington.
At the same time, the hardline Islamists demanded the release of prisoners from the US military detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba — but the statement did not specify where they should be sent.
Karzai was told by the US about the demand that they should go to Qatar shortly before the Bonn conference on Afghanistan in December, Faizi said.
“Several meetings had taken place between the Americans and the Taliban. It was something discussed between the two sides.
“But that day, when the Americans talked to Karzai, it was the first time that they talked about the transfer of the prisoners to Qatar.”
Faizi said his government was in favour of a release of Guantanamo prisoners, “but we don’t want them to go directly to Qatar — our government is strongly against it”.
Karzai’s government is concerned about being sidelined in the negotiations towards possible peace between the Taliban and the US, and Faizi stressed that it wanted “an Afghan-led transition”.
“You can’t send them directly to Qatar because it would be a breach of our sovereignty, of the Afghan laws or of the constitution. Afghanistan is an independent nation, you know.
“You can’t do anything you want with our citizens without informing the Afghan government. The prisoners should be sent to the Afghan government first.
“We agreed on the opening of an office for the Taliban in Qatar, but never on the transfer of the prisoners to that country.” […]
Afghan analyst and former Taliban official Waheed Mujhda said that if released Taliban prisoners were repatriated to Kabul they risked being detained by the government, which is why the movement was pressing for them to be sent to Qatar….