In an effort to revive peace parleys, the United States is reportedly willing to transfer Taliban detainees from its Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba to Qatar in return for an American soldier in militants’ captivity.
Under the deal, the US would shift five senior insurgent figures from Cuba to the Gulf state of Qatar, a media report said on Wednesday. The prisoner swap is aimed to help efforts at arranging talks between the fighters and the Karzai administration.
In a good-faith move, the US would send the Taliban prisoners to Qatar before asking the rebels to free Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the Reuters reported, quoting sources familiar with the process.
In June 2009, the 26 years old American disappeared from his base in southern Afghanistan. He is believed to be in Taliban’s captivity in northwestern Pakistan.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman conferred on offer with Qatari officials in mid-June, the report said. Qatar has played an important role in secret negotiations between US officials and Taliban representatives.
Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa, a former interior minister, Noorullah Noori, an ex-governor, ex-military commander Mullah Fazl Akhund and then deputy intelligence minister Abdul Haq Wasiq could be sent to Qatar from the notorious US detention facility.
Source: Pajhwok Afghan News Agency