Afghanistan has announced a week-long ceasefire with the Taliban militant group for Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani tweeted on Thursday that the truce would last “from the 27th of Ramadan until the fifth day of Eid-al-Fitr,” a period which falls on June 12-19.
However, a Taliban spokesman told AFP that they were still “checking with our officials” regarding the ceasefire announcement.
The development came a few days after over 2,000 Afghan religious scholars issued a fatwa (religious decree) outlawing bombings and demanding that Taliban accept the government’s peace offer in order to prevent further bloodshed.
An hour after the call, a bomb attack killed 14 people outside the clerics’ gathering place in Kabul. The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for the incident.
Ghani welcomed the clerics’ decree, saying, “The government of Afghanistan not only supports the unanimous fatwa announcement by the ulemas (scholars), but also backs the recommended ceasefire.”
“(At) the same time, the Afghan government directs all the security and defense forces of the country… to stop all the attacks on the Taliban, but the operation will continue against Daesh, al-Qaeda and other international terrorist networks,” he added.
Ghani also noted that the ceasefire “is an opportunity for Taliban to introspect that their violent campaign is not wining them hearts and minds but further alienating the Afghan people from their cause.”
Back in February, the Afghan president offered to allow the Taliban to establish itself as a political party and said he would work to remove sanctions on the militant group, among other incentives if it joined the government in peace negotiations “without preconditions.”
In return, the militants would have to recognize the Kabul government and respect the rule of law.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has offered the Taliban militant group to join peace talks “without preconditions.”
The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan under the guise of the war on terror. Some 17 years on, the Taliban group has only boosted its campaign of violence across the country, targeting both civilians and security forces in bloody assaults.
More recently, Daesh has also taken advantage of the chaos and established a foothold in eastern and northern Afghanistan.
The Takfiri outfit has stepped up its terror attacks in the war-torn state after losing its bases in Iraq and Syria despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops on Afghan soil.