The Taliban government has released two American prisoners in Afghanistan, the US State Department announced on Tuesday, day in which the movement was condemned for banning women’s college education and Washington pledged Taliban action in response to its ban on girls from entering university education.
“We know it was a goodwill gesture by the Taliban. This was not an exchange of prisoners or detainees. No money was paid,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
He explained that confidentiality rules prevented him from giving more details about the two Americans.
Their release comes on the day in which the Taliban government forbade women in Afghanistan to attend universities, drawing condemnation from the United States, which warned that the move would come with costs for the militant movement.
Price said: “We don’t miss the irony that they made a gesture of goodwill towards us on the day in which they have taken such a step towards the Afghan people,” adding, “The question is put to the Taliban about the timing of this matter. “
The United States has repeatedly condemned the record of the Taliban since the movement’s return to power last year, when President Joe Biden withdrew US forces from Afghanistan, leading to the collapse of the Western-backed government after two decades in power.
But the Biden administration said the Taliban was largely cooperative during that time in allowing American citizens to leave.
On Tuesday, the Taliban decided to ban university education for women indefinitely in Afghanistan, according to a letter sent by the Ministry of Higher Education to all public universities and private.
The letter, signed by Minister Nada Muhammad Nadeem, said: “I inform all of you to implement the above order to halt girls’ education until further notice.”
Ministry spokesman Ziaullah al-Hashimi, who posted the message on Twitter, confirmed the decision in a written declaration to the AFP.
Higher education ban for women comes less than 3 months after thousands of them took college entrance exams in the whole country.
After hardliners took power in August last year, universities had to implement new rules that included gender-separated classrooms and entrances, and only female professors and older men could teach female students.
Read More About: World News