The diplomatic missions to Afghanistan in a joint statement on Monday called on the Taliban to end the "ongoing military offensive which thwarts effort to arrive at a negotiated solution to the conflict and harms and displaced civilians.”
The statement was issued by the following missions: Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the EU delegation, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“We condemn the continued targeted killings taking place throughout Afghanistan, the destruction of vital infrastructure, and threats, declarations, and other actions against the gains Afghans have made over the last twenty years, gains which we have strongly supported,” it said.
The statement from the missions also said that the Taliban’s offensive is in direct contradiction to their claim to support a negotiated settlement to the conflict and to the Doha peace process.
“It has resulted in loss of innocent Afghan lives, including through continued targeted killings, displacement of the civilian’s population, looting and burning of buildings, destruction of vital infrastructure, and damage to communication networks,” the statement said.
“The indiscriminate detaining and killings of civilians and assaults of prisons demonstrates an extremely concerning disregard for the rule of law. In districts occupied by the Taliban, inhabitants and observers also credibly report attempts to repress the human rights of women and girls and to shut down private and public media organizations in an attempt to conceal their human rights abuses and diminish freedom of expression,” it states.
“On behalf of our respective missions, we vehemently condemn these and any other actions that violate the human rights of Afghan citizens. Afghans have made numerous gains over the past 20 years and want to continue building on their achievements in development, human rights, and free speech,” it noted.
“We want to underscore that progress made over the past years can only be sustained if all parties work together,” it said.
“We join the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan in calling on the Taliban and all parties to immediately end violence, agree to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire, and engage fully in peace negotiations to end the suffering of the Afghan people and pave the way to an inclusive political settlement that benefits all Afghans and ensures that Afghanistan does not again serve as a safe haven for insurgents,” it added.
The statement urged the Taliban to lay down their weapons during the Eid-ul-Adha "for good" and "show the world their commitment to the peace process."
Also on Monday religious scholars from 34 provinces held a gathering and called for an immediate ceasefire in the country, saying they want a permanent end to the conflict.
"For the sake of God, stop this war. It has affected hundreds of people," said a religious scholar, who called on the warring parties to end hostilities.
The religious scholars issued a resolution and asked the warring parties to “solve the issue through talks.”
“All sides must say yes to peace.”
The scholars urged countries in the region, including Pakistan and Iran, to help Afghanistan in its peace process.