Separately the Afghan government has made peace with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the former C.I.A.-backed warlord whose Islamic Party paramilitary organization resisted the allied invasion in 2001. Mr. Hekmatyar returned to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, as the leader of a political movement in 2017, and is a member of Afghanistan’s Council for National Reconciliation.
So the Ghani government wants Mr. Haroon, who is held as a member of the Islamic Party, returned.
But Al Qaeda is still considered a threat to the United States, and one basis for Mr. Haroon’s detention is the accusations that he was associated with Al Qaeda before his capture in 2007.
The Afghan petition describes Mr. Haroon as “a cause of considerable concern both to the government and to the people,” and his “plight” as “well known,” thanks to a campaign by his lawyer to raise his profile in Kabul since taking his case in 2016. Until then, he had no lawyer.
Last year, the lawyer delivered an opinion article attributed to Mr. Haroon describing his concern for his family in the coronavirus pandemic to the Pajhwok Afghan News service to publish.
“If I am to help my family, President Trump surely needs to hear from President Ghani,” it said. “How can you ask Afghanistan to release thousands of prisoners, if you will not release one?”
Mr. Haroon was born to an Afghan family that fled the violence of the civil war to a refugee camp in Pakistan, where they remain, according to court filings. He is married and has one child, a daughter who was born after he was captured.