Afghanistan’s acting Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar on Thursday pressed the Taliban to provide an alternative list of prisoners to release them instead of nearly 600 who face serious charges. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid rejected the offer and said the Taliban will not give up their demand for the release of all those mentioned in the list already shared with the United States during peace negotiations. “We are asking the Kabul administration to release our prisoners but want it not to create problems for the peace process. We want the US to honour its commitment regarding the release of 5,000 prisoners in accordance with the agreement,” Mujahid told Daily Times.Earlier Atmar told reporters in Kabul that the Afghan government has released 4,400 Taliban prisoners so far but the government has refused to release 600 Taliban prisoners who have “serious issues.” “Release of 4,400 Taliban prisoners is a big progress and there is no justification to delay negotiations among Afghans,” he said.“The US and the Taliban had agreed on 5,000 prisoners but there is no agreement on 5,000 names,” the Afghan foreign minister said. However, the Taliban spokesman dismissed the notion as false and said the US and the Taliban had signed the agreement in February after agreement on the prisoners.Mujahid said the Americans had arrested all the Taliban and had also established Bagram prison where they had lodged most of the prisoners. “All our people had been captured during the fighting. They are prisoners of war and face no criminal charges,” he said, rejecting the government’s claim that the Taliban prisoners are charged with heinous crimes.Earlier, Javid Faisal, spokesperson for the Office of the National Security Council, claimed that there are 592 convicted Taliban on the Doha Taliban’s list of 5,000 that have serious crimes, such as drug trafficking, abducting citizens, sexual assault, stoning of women, assassinations, and other “haq-ul-abd” (human rights) cases.Faisal said the government has given the Taliban the choice to submit to the Afghan authorities another 592 names for consideration for release, adding the ball is on the Taliban court.The Taliban spokesman accused the Afghan government of “creating hurdles” for the intra-Afghan dialogue, which should have been started 10 days after signing of the US-Taliban deal on Feb. 29.Mujahid said that the part of the deal about the withdrawal of troops and vacating five bases has been implemented by the US, but the process of the release of the prisoners has not yet been completed.“Unfortunately the Kabul administration has created obstacles and it is also the responsibility of the US side which had promised to secure release of the prisoners,” he said.Despite the Taliban refusal to join the intra-Afghan negotiations unless the issue of prisoners is resolved, the Afghan foreign minister said that 12 countries including Turkey, Iran, Qatar, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, China, Norway and Germany have offered to host intra-Afghan negotiations.Atmar said understanding is the process will start in Qatar and discussions to hold some rounds in other countries have not started yet. He said the Afghan government has proposed several dates to the Taliban for the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations, but they have refused to accept the offer and insisted on the release of 5000 prisoners.Meanwhile, Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said on Thursday that Pakistan believes that the peace process has reached a critical stage following the signing of the U.S.-Taliban Peace Agreement.“It is extremely important that the U.S-Taliban Peace Agreement is implemented in its entirety leading to Intra-Afghan Negotiations. Pakistan would continue to play its role to support and facilitate the Afghan Peace Process,” she said at her weekly briefing.The spokesperson said Pakistan has been supporting Afghan peace process with a view to achieve lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan, adding the visit of Army Chief and Special Envoy to Afghanistan was part of this ongoing facilitator role that Pakistan has been engaged in.She clarified that permission to Afghan exports to India via Wahga is a one way transit, in which Afghan trucks will pass through Pakistani territory up to the Wahga border terminal; however there will be no traffic from the other side heading towards Afghanistan.She said Afghan Government had requested Pakistan to open the border for transit trade, adding that all the border crossings had been closed due to covid-19 pandemic situation since 26 February, however, honoring the request of the Afghan Govt. these measures have been taken.