Asia - Pacific

Seeking permanent truce, Afghan gov’t says no reason left for Taliban violence

Temporary cease-fires cannot provide lasting solution to Afghanistan's problems, say top officials

Shadi Khan Saif   | 10.05.2021
Seeking permanent truce, Afghan gov’t says no reason left for Taliban violence

KABUL, Afghanistan

Responding to the Taliban’s truce call for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr festival, top Afghan officials on Monday called on the insurgents to permanently shun violence.

President Ashraf Ghani said the withdrawal of foreign troops leaves no reason for the Taliban to continue their deadly insurgency.

“Resorting to violence, killing civilians, destroying infrastructure, and attacking public places is wrong and illegal on any day, not just Eid days,” he said.

“Now that foreign forces are leaving Afghanistan, the Taliban have no religious reason to continue their war.”

The Taliban had rejected government calls for a halt in fighting during the holy month of Ramadan but have announced a three-day cease-fire for the Eid al-Fitr festival coming this week.

Abdullah Abdullah, the government’s chief peace negotiator, welcomed the cease-fire announcement but stressed that the country desperately needs a permanent nationwide truce.

“Temporary cease-fires on these occasions provide a brief opportunity for people to experience peace, but this is not a fundamental and permanent solution to the country’s problems,” he said in a statement.

On previous occasions, he pointed out, the Afghan government announced a unilateral cease-fire in the hopes of achieving a lasting truce.

Abdullah also warned the Taliban that it would be their “miscalculation” to assume that they could capture power in Afghanistan through force.

Violence has escalated in Afghanistan as American troops have started leaving after US President Joe Biden announced plans for a complete withdrawal by this September.

A devastating bomb attack on a girls’ school in the capital Kabul last Saturday has now claimed at least 80 lives.

It came less than 10 days after 25 students were killed in a car bombing at a university hostel in the eastern province of Logar.

As President Ghani announced a nationwide day of mourning for the 105 students on Tuesday, landmine blasts killed at least 12 more civilians in the Zabul and Parwan provinces of the war-ravaged country on Monday.

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