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Uncertainty Persists Over Gov’t-Taliban Second Ceasefire Declaration

(Last Updated On: August 19, 2018)

The Taliban in a message on the occasion of upcoming Eid festival have shown no sign of having a second ceasefire with the Afghan government – which is already in consultations with stakeholders to take its decision on the issue.

The Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada in his Eid al-Adha message has reiterated the call for direct peace talks with the United states.

Part of the Taliban’s message for the Islamic holy days, said that the Americans propose options other than constructive negotiations which they believe neither rational nor practical.

“…negotiations must be sincere and productive free from any fraud and deception and must revolve around the core issue and not be used for propaganda or misleading the common thinking,” it said.

The Taliban in the statement released on Saturday insisted that bringing peace and security are among their highest priorities.  “But peace will remain elusive during an occupation and neither is salvation possible without the establishment of an Islamic authority,” it  said.

In the statement,  the group has shown no sign of the plan to declare a second ceasefire with the Afghan government – which considers it as a path towards ensuring lasting peace in war-weary country.

However, the group’s spokesman Zabidullah Mujahid had earlier after announcing Eid Al-Fitre truce insisted that they were considering a ceasefire every year during Eid days but because of security concerns they were not declaring it publically.

Following the matter, the chairman of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council Abdul Karim Khalili said that the Afghan people believe in peace and that they are hopeful of having a bilateral ceasefire between the Taliban and the government in upcoming days.

“We urge the Taliban to declare ceasefire. This is in line with the will of Afghan people,” he said.

This comes as President Ashraf Ghani said that consultative meetings are underway regarding the announcement of a ceasefire during Eid Al-Adha and that the government would announce its decision upon the completion of consultations and recommendations being offered to the government.

The president made the remarks during a meeting with the members of the High Peace Council and the Ulemas Council of Afghanistan in Presidential Palace.

Qiamuddin Kashaf, the head of Afghanistan’s Ulema Council said that they want a ceasefire which could pave way for ensuring peace in the country.

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