Afghan govt. extends truce with Taliban

17 June, 2018, 08:34 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Afghan govt. extends truce with Taliban

The devastating explosion came as previously unthinkable scenes of unarmed Taliban fighters celebrating Eid, often alongside Afghan security forces, played out in cities throughout the war-shattered country on Friday and again on Saturday, The Associated Press reported.

"On our sacred land, foreign countries and their intelligence agencies have been keeping alive the flames of war in Afghanistan to reach their nefarious designs, otherwise the Afghans under no circumstances want the war to continue", said the NSA.

Unarmed Taliban fighters waving flags entered Kabul and other major cities after the government said it would allow them to visit their families over the holiday.

Afghan government has said it will continue operations against other insurgent groups, including Daesh, and only Taliban are part of the ceasefire.

Speaking from his palace in a solemn and serene tone, Ghani said his government was ready for "any kind of peace and any kind of talks", and that he would be willing to discuss all Taliban concerns, including "the future role of global troops" in the country.

Photos and videos on social media showed cheerful Talban exchanging hugs with Afghan soldiers and taking selfies with them across several provinces as they approached the capital.

Many people across the country have urged the government and the Taliban to extend their ceasefires.

Men and women gathered around the soldiers and Taliban fighters and urged them to keep their weapons holstered before they hugged each other.

For many Afghans it has been first glimpse of peace in their lifetime. It is hard to describe the joy, ' said student Qais Liwal.

Just days ago, the two sides were engaged in fierce fighting.

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The main square of Kunduz city, capital of the province of the same name which has witnessed series of bloody clashes, became a friendly meeting ground.

Most of the dead and wounded were believed to be Taliban, he said.

"I am very happy, because they (Taliban) are our brothers", Maroof, another resident said.

A video showed a huge crowd of people screaming and whistling as they welcomed the Taliban.

Carrying assault weapons and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, members of Afghanistan´s biggest militant group travelled by auto and motorbike through the contested district of Bati Kot in eastern Nangarhar province, waving Afghan and Taliban flags.

"I hope that Inshallah peace will remain in Afghanistan and an Islamic government will come in to power across the world", Hasibullah, a Taliban member said.

The unusual bonhomie between the two sides came as Ghani confirmed that banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Mullah Fazlullah had been killed in a USA drone strike.

In his tweet, Mr. Ghani said he also called Pakistan's Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

In his conversation with Mr. Ghani, Mr. Mulk said that Fazlullah's death would be received throughout Pakistan with relief as Pakistanis had borne the brunt of terrorist attacks by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, which Fazlullah headed.

Despite President Ghani's offer in February for peace talks "without preconditions", the Taliban have shown no interest, dismissing the peace overtures as a "conspiracy".



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