By: Suraya Raiszada
As the head of the Taliban group in a message ruled out calling a cease-fire and stressed on fighting, High Peace Council (HPC) has asked the group for truce and stopping violence during the three days of Eid-ul Fitr.
“Eid days are the auspicious days for Muslims; therefore, our demand from the Taliban is to stop violence and say yes to ceasefire in the country, an official for HPC said.
Previously, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani had stressed on ceasefire across the country during the Holy month of Ramadan.
Last year, Taliban said yes to ceasefire during the three days of Eid, which was welcomed by the people.
In a new message timed for Eid, the head of the Taliban group vowed to keep fighting and rejected calling for ceasefire during the Eid days and beyond that.
Meanwhile, civil society organizations and Afghan political parties have also asked all parties to the conflict for truce in particular during the coming Eid days.
“The lives of many Afghans would be saved even if the truce is implemented for a single day or hour in Afghanistan; therefore, it is better that all parties to the ongoing conflict should stop violence and say yes to ceasefire,” said Watandost, a spokesperson to Harakat-e-Mardumi Sulh.
An Afghan political expert Amin Khpalwak says all countries of the world better know that no talks will be productive unless the Taliban group and Afghanistan government hold direct talks and take stop for ceasefire in the country.
“Taliban cannot reach their goals through fighting,” Khapalwak said, adding that Taliban has no other ways except peace as their continue war has no religious and legal legitimacy at all; therefore, they should stop violence and say yes to ceasefire and hold direct talks with Afghanistan government.
Jamal Farahmand, another Afghan political expert says Taliban said yes to ceasefire last year and their fighters visited their home areas and met and joined their families, which was a good opportunity for them. He asked for truce so that the people could spend the Eid days in a peaceful environment.
“One of successes of peace talks will be that all parties to the ongoing conflict reach agreement on ceasefire,” Farahmand added.
Sayed Akbar Agha, a former member of the Taliban group, by asking for truce as soon as possible stressed on solution of all problems between parties to the conflict to reach agreement on ceasefire in the country.
It is worth mention that various countries of the world have made effort to take part in Afghanistan peace process, but it is believed that lasting peace can be maintained in the country only if the opponent groups accept and respect the country’s constitution and stop violence and their links to some countries are cut.
Eid message of the head of the Taliban group was issued simultaneously with kicking off another round of US special peace envoy’s visit to the region. It is worth mentioning that US special peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has left Washington for multi-nation tour from May 31 – June 16 involving also Qatar where he will hold next round of talks with the Taliban.