Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Taliban agrees to unprecedented Eid ceasefire with Afghan forces

We are in the middle of a new offensive against ISIS in Nangarhar says General John Nicholson We are in the middle of a new offensive against ISIS in Nangarhar says General John Nicholson
Melinda Barton | 10 June, 2018, 10:24

'Our operations will continue against them, we will attack them wherever we see them, ' it said. "I hope these three days of ceasefire turn to a permanent ceasefire". "We should reach for sustainable peace throughout the country".

The clerics were themselves targeted in a suicide attack claimed by IS, which killed 14 people at the entrance to their peace tent in Kabul.

The ceasefire from the Afghan government's side is applicable from 27th of Ramadan, June 12, to the fifth of Eid-al-Fitr, June 19.

"This ceasefire is an opportunity for Taliban to introspect that their violent campaign is not winning them hearts and minds, but further alienating the #Afghan people from their cause", he added on Twitter.

In late February, Ghani also offered the Taliban a chance to be recognized as a legitimate political party and withdraw their names from worldwide sanctions lists in exchange for peace.

"Taliban should welcome the Afghan government's ceasefire so that we can achieve peace in our common homeland through intra-Afghan negotiations", said Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of Parliament.

An Afghan security force member stands guard in front of the Marshal Fahim military academy in Kabul, Afghanistan January 29, 2018.

The Trump administration has sent additional troops to try to change the course of America's longest war.

The US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation formally concluded their combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014, but the US still has thousands of forces based there in a support and counterterrorism role. The Taliban said it was not behind the attack, but described the meeting as "a United States effort".

Family visits should also be arranged for remaining prisoners, it said.

In the meantime, Taliban insurgents have continued to carry out attacks against Afghan forces.

Provincial authorities in Kunduz said the Taliban ambushed police posts in the Qala-e-Zal district late Friday, killing 24 personnel stationed there.

The 10 included five Pakistanis killed in the clash in the eastern province of Nangarhar, the official said, adding, "We finished the operation and will now follow the ceasefire plan".

Laurel Miller, who served as a senior USA official for Afghanistan and Pakistan under both Obama and Trump, said that while any action to reduce violence was positive, the differing terms and timelines for the two parties' cease-fires made the current circumstance a fragile one.

In northern Kunduz province at least 13 local policemen were killed early Saturday when their checkpoint came under an attack by Taliban fighters, said Nematullah Temori, spokesman for the provincial governor.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also welcomed the Afghan government's move, saying it "underscores its commitment to peace as both a national and religious responsibility".