President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday announced a ceasefire with the Taliban insurgent group after Afghan clerics gathered in Kabul and issued a Fatwa, religious ruling, against the ongoing violence in the country.
“The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan announces ceasefire from the 27th of Ramadan until the fifth day of Eid-ul-Fitr following the historic ruling [Fatwa] of the Afghan Ulema,” Ghani said in a video message aired live on the Presidential Palace Facebook page.
He ordered all Afghan national defense and security forces to stop their offensive maneuvers against the “Afghan armed Taliban” during the ceasefire period.
However, he asked governmental forces to continue their military operation against Daesh, Al-Qaeda and other foreign-backed terrorist organizations and their affiliates across the country.
“This ceasefire is an opportunity for Taliban to introspect that their violent campaign is not wining them hearts and minds but further alienating the Afghan people from their cause,” the President said.
“With the ceasefire announcement we epitomize the strength of the Afghan government and the will of the people for a peaceful resolution to the Afghan conflict,” he added.
This comes three days after about 3,000 Afghan religious scholars from around the country issued a fatwa, saying the ongoing war and suicide attacks are against the Islamic directives and is strictly forbidden in our religion.
The religious scholars called on the warring factions to announce a ceasefire and called on the Taliban group to give a positive response to President Ashraf Ghani’s unprecedented peace offer.
But the Taliban group in a statement called the religious scholars gathering an “American-ordered process” and urged clerics to cooperate with them.