By: Lailuma Noori
Taliban has confirmed that a plan for reduction in violence for the period of three months has been submitted to the US side.
The plan is under discussion and no further details have been provided related to the new Taliban plan. Based on the plan, the main demands of the Taliban group are the release of nearly 7,000 prisoners from prisons of Afghanistan government and removing of names of Taliban leaders from the UNSC and US department of state’s blacklist. The group has also asked for further US troop withdrawal on 1st of May.
In case of agreement and execution of the plan for reduction in violence, US is required to act upon its commitments made in Doha, or the Taliban will either leave the negotiating table or resume their violent attacks against foreign troops and Afghanistan will enter new phase of war. The US administration has perceived the risk; therefore, it has concentrated most of its energy to convince Afghanistan government to expedite the intra-Afghan talks with the Taliban group.
Afghan political experts believe that releasing terrorists from prisons of Afghanistan government in a situation in which ceasefire is not maintained will further boost violence and bloodshed in the country. This comes amid of increasing targeted killings, IED blasts and violent attacks of the Taliban in various parts of the country.
After the US – Taliban deal, Taliban has increased their attacks on Afghan security forces, innocent civilians and public infrastructures. Armed attacks, IED blasts, explosions, Targeted killings and other similar incidents have been part of their violence in Afghanistan.
The Taliban are under tremendous international pressure to reduce violence and declare a cease-fire. The U.S., NATO, and others have called the level of violence in Afghanistan unacceptably high.
However, the militant group has been hesitant to declare a cease-fire, claiming that the issue will be discussed during its negotiations with an Afghan government-sanctioned team, labeled the intra-Afghan negotiations.
A three-month RIV, if agreed to, would be a major confidence-building measure and the first in 20 years of war. The Taliban previously declared a weeklong RIV before signing an agreement with the U.S. in Doha in February of last year, and a three-day ceasefire before that on the occasion of Muslim festival of Eid.
Previously, Afghanistan government had protested high level of violence in the country. Currently, the government is resisting the most challenging option as agreement of the government with releasing nearly 7,000 prisoners of the Taliban group for the purpose of reduction in violence and acceleration of peace process is considered as a big challenge facing President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.
Afghanistan government has not commented on the plan so far, but prior to start of the intra-Afghan talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban negotiating teams, more than 5,000 Taliban prisoners were released. Soon after they were released from prisons, most of them joined others to fight ANDSF across the country.
The Taliban and an Afghanistan government team started intra-Afghan negotiations in September but have not made much progress. The two sides have not agreed on an agenda for the negotiations.