The opium farm owner and a well-known drug lord in Afghanistan, Bashir Noorzai was captured by American troops 17 years ago and held in custody over the years of war. He was convicted of having extensive drug networks inside the United States in 2008 and given a life sentence. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) gave Noorzai the nickname “Pablo Escobar of Heroin”. Noorzai in the past was also believed to have had close relations with Mullah Omar and that this brought him the opportunities to spread his business across borders.
While Mark Frerichs was a US navy veteran who was captured inside Afghanistan, in 2020, when he was working as a civil engineer. At the time of his arrest, Mark was 58 years old and spent 2 years in captivity at the hands of the Taliban. Mark was also the main objective of a mission carried out by the U.S army to extract him from captivity but the rescue mission somehow failed.
POTUS had a perplexing decision to make as he saw a prisoner exchange in which the trade seemed fairly imbalanced. he said that it took some “difficult decisions which I do not take lightly” and continued to thank the public servants for their tiring efforts in serving their country.
The exchange program was designed after a lengthy negotiation period between the U.S government and the Taliban. Although the U.S does not recognize the Taliban government, the trade was carried out anyway and with this deal, both parties seemed to have reached common grounds for future negotiations as well. The prisoner exchange program benefited both governments as they managed to transfer valuable citizens back to their respective homelands.
After the release, Noorzai was welcomed by the Taliban as a hero and his return was celebrated. Taliban soldiers greeted him outside the Kabul airport yesterday and cheered for him.
While the Taliban denied providing information about the whereabouts of Mark Frerich’s captivity over the years, the captive upon return was reported to be in stable health. Frerich’s return is a statement of Biden’s administration as the U.S was troubled about the people left behind after the war had ended. Along with the provision of constant aid being provided to Afghanistan, the United States looks forward to disengaging harmful events that may erupt in the future as of 2021, U.S troops have cleared Afghanistan for good.
In answer to the Taliban’s claim for peace in the region, U.S government issued a statement saying that if the Taliban are truly interested in what they say, they will refrain from such practices of hostage-taking in the future.
Both sides have many hostages to offer to each other but no further news by the official governments has yet been released.