Inside Story

How significant is the prisoner swap between US and Afghanistan?

The Taliban has freed an American contractor in exchange for an Afghan drug dealer.

The Taliban has released US Navy veteran Mark Frerichs in exchange for an Afghan tribal leader.

Frerichs was abducted in February 2020 while Bashir Noorzai was serving a life sentence for smuggling heroin.

US President Joe Biden says the decision was not taken lightly.

The Taliban says this is a new era of relations with Washington.

But will it change anything?

And are diplomatic ties between the Taliban and the US even possible?

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra


Peter Zwack – Retired brigadier general in the US army

Graeme Smith – Senior consultant on Afghanistan for the International Crisis Group

Ahmad Shuja Jamal – Former director general of international relations and regional cooperation at the Afghan National Security Council