Afghanistan has been in a state of almost constant war, even before the US invaded. From the communist insurrection in the late ’70s, the Soviet-Afghan War in the ’80s and the Afghan Civil wars in the 90’s - the middle-eastern region has not observed much peace for over 40 years.
Among the chaos, most notable of all was the formulation of the Taliban group in the late ’80s. While initially, their aim was to fight corruption and improve security, they soon became a target of attack by the US government.
Because the Taliban gave shelter to militants from the al-Qaeda group, they became an immediate target for an attack by US, Afghan and international forces in the wake of 9/11.
After almost 20 years of violent conflict between the US and the Taliban, the two have signed a contract securing an end to the battle. This came after a seven-day partial ceasefire, which was agreed as a trust-building exercise.
The contract was signed at the end of February and by March 10th Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had approved the release of 1,500 Taliban prisoners as part of efforts to secure a peace deal with the insurgent group.
All prisoners were required to give a written guarantee to not return to the battlefield. In exchange, the Taliban has agreed to hand over 1,000 government troops. This came after the US began withdrawing troops from the country as part of a linked agreement signed earlier with the Taliban.
While the prisoner release is intended to build trust between both sides and kick-start the end of decades of war. Many ordinary Afghans hope that political instability does not threaten this. The afghani citizens are skeptical about the idea of peace, given the bitter history of power struggles between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban.
For complete peace in Afghanistan, the Taliban also have to participate in upcoming intra-Afghan talks between various political factions. Which requires a new round of peace talks.