President Ashraf Ghani in a statement on Monday instructed all Afghan forces to observe the ceasefire during three days of Eid, but he reiterated that the Taliban’s violence has no legitimacy as international troops are leaving the country.
Ghani stated that the government is aware of the announcement of the ceasefire by the Taliban, but he did not welcome it or otherwise acknowledge the gesture in his remarks.
Ghani said the Afghan government and the Afghan people’s demand is a permanent and real ceasefire.
“Our message to the Taliban is that their latest attacks during Ramadan in Logar, Helmand, Ghazni, Herat, Baghlan, the Kabul school attack, and today’s (Monday) deadly incident in Zabul show that any attempt to impose violence and make efforts to create horror among the people to achieving political and intelligence goals only leads to more hatred (towards them) among the people,” Ghani said.
He said that the Taliban in the last few weeks might have learned that their calculation of winning militarily and in face-to-face fights against the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces is wrong.
He once again called on the Taliban to respond to the people’s demand for ceasefire and return to the negotiating table.
The Taliban in a statement announced a three-day ceasefire during the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr, following a surge of violence that comes on the heels of the foreign troops' withdrawal from the country.
The statement says that all Taliban fighters have been instructed to stop all kinds of offensive operations across the country from the first to the third day of Eid-ul-Fitr.
The statement added that Taliban fighters have been told that if they are attacked “by the enemy” during these three days, they should protect and defend themselves.
The fighters have also been asked to avoid any attempt to enter territories under the Afghan government’s control and also they should not allow any members of Afghan forces to enter their territories.
This comes as violence has been on the rise since the start of this month.
This would be the third ceasefire in the country following the first in August 2018. But all have been for three days only each time.
This comes as Pakistan’s Army Chief of Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Kabul on Monday to meet with Afghan officials.