A source said on Tuesday that Taliban leaders have reached partial agreement among themselves about a temporary ceasefire and are likely to announce a 10-day ceasefire as soon as the US-Taliban peace deal is signed. Following this, the source said, intra-Afghan talks may begin.
However, some say a final agreement is still pending among Taliban leaders.
Currently, the two main topics being discussed within the Taliban leadership are a ceasefire and a reduction of violence, sources say.
The United States has made a ceasefire and the reduction of violence—under separate circumstances—conditions for signing the agreement, and a source says that the Taliban delegates have consulted internally with their military commanders and with high-level Taliban leaders in Pakistan.
One former Taliban regime member said there is agreement among the Taliban that a US timetable for withdrawal should accompany any agreement on a ceasefire:
“The Taliban has agreed among itself that a ceasefire should be signed simultaneously with the signing of the agreement of withdrawal of foreign forces,” said Abdul Shakoor Mutmaen, the former head of the National Olympic Committee during the Taliban regime.
A source familiar with the Qatar peace talks said the Taliban leaders are consulting with the group’s military commanders over the temporary ceasefire, but, so far, no final agreement has been reached.
“The delegation sent by the Taliban wasn’t yet able to get Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada’s agreement on the ceasefire,” said Samiullah Yousafzai, a freelance journalist.
Afghan politicians in Kabul in the meantime are working to establish the list of delegates for intra-Afghan talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
“Mr. Abdullah told (US envoy) Zalmay Khalilzad that his list of delegates is ready whenever he asks for it and he also asked him (Khalilzad) to organize part of the Presidential Palace’s delegation,” said Haji Din Mohammad, deputy head of the High Peace Council.
Abdullah on Tuesday, at a gathering, focused on education, assured the public that there will be no deal in the peace agreement that would compromise Afghan girls’ right to education.
“We assure the people that the legitimate right of children and girls to access education in this country will never be traded for anything.”
Twelve days have passed since the final round of talks between US and Taliban representatives in Qatar, and Washington is said to be waiting for the Taliban's decision about a reduction of violence and to declare a ceasefire in order to sign the agreement.