KABUL: The United States and Afghanistan have exchanged key prisoners held in their country’s prisons. When Afghanistan handed over a former US Navy officer, they freed a Taliban operative who had been held captive by the US for 17 years.
International media reports that the two countries have made such a decision after long discussions.
Afghan Foreign Minister Aamir Khan Muttaki told the media today that they handed over Haji Bashar Noorzai, a Taliban operative, to us at Kabul airport in exchange for handing over Mark Frerichs, who had been imprisoned for more than two years, to the United. States.
Haji Bashar was imprisoned by the United States 17 years ago in connection with the heroin trafficking case. In 2020, Mark Frerichs was kidnapped by Afghans.
US Navy SEAL Mark Frerichs was working as a civil engineer on construction projects in Afghanistan when he was kidnapped, authorities said.
Meanwhile, government spokesman Sabihullah Mujahid told AFP on Monday that Noorzai had no official position in the Taliban but had provided strong support, including weapons, to the movement when it emerged in the 1990s.