The UN laid most of the blame at the feet of "anti-government elements" such as the Taliban, who have been carrying out an insurgency in Afghanistan for more than 18 years.
"The Taliban will release the professors when their prisoners are handed over", he said, adding that both, particularly the Taliban, were very cautious in view of their mistrust of the other.
Anas Haqqani was arrested in Bahrain in 2014 and handed over to the Afghan government, which later sentenced him to death.
Two days later, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed to AFP that no swap had yet taken place.
A Taliban official from the group's prisoners commission told Daily Times that the three prisoners were brought back to their cell at the Bagram.
Taliban leadership had included Anas Haqqani in the 14-member negotiation team in February and Taliban sources say he will join the team in Qatar.
Petraeus and Serchuk suggest that a new peace deal should require a nationwide ceasefire, and the withdrawal of U.S. forces should not even be offered as a consideration. They had promised to release our three prisoners in exchange for the two university teachers on Tuesday.
"We spoke to them after they were provided with new clothes and shifted out of Bagram jail", the relative said, declining further identification due to the sensitivity of the issue.
He did not disclose the nationalities of the four wounded, but a senior Afghan security official said they were either Indian or Nepalese nationals and the Kabul police were working to identify the injured.
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The prisoner exchange between the Taliban group and the Afghan government has not happened yet, a source close to the group told Sputnik.
He said some of their people and family members of the three prisoners had even distributed candies when came to know about their release from jail.
The lecturers will be transferred to Pakistan first, and then to Qatar for exchange. Even people in the Qatar office were anxiously waiting to receive them.
A source says the USA did not want publicity of the Taliban release. He claimed they had learnt that U.S. officials suddenly changed their mind and refused to release their prisoners.
This story has been corrected to show that the American and Australian professor were abducted in 2016, not 2017, and that Weeks was the spelling of the Australian's surname.
He said the Taliban had immediately shifted King and Weeks "to a new and safe place" on November 12 after the commanders failed to land in Doha, home to the Taliban's political leadership. The authors suggest that a troop withdrawal would amount to "exchanging America's military footprint in Afghanistan for Taliban commitments against al-Qaeda", and would be "especially ill-considered". The three Taliban prisoners did not show up at an exchange site that had been agreed upon with the USA, though Ghani said they would be freed.
"Within this context, we consider the release from prisons of three leaders of the Haqqani network connected with the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia), as a gesture of good will from the Afghan government that will help advance the intra-Afghan peace process", the diplomat said.
Pleading anonymity, he said their prisoners were kept in waiting by telling them different reasons about delay in flight.