Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani announced a three-day ceasefire ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr to mark the end of Ramadan.
President Ashraf Ghani via Twitter announced that the government extends the offer of peace. The Taliban ordered peace war after US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was in Doha and Kabul.
I welcome the ceasefire announcement by the Taliban. The Afghan government extends the offer of peace. As Commander in Chief I have instructed ANDSF to comply with the three-days truce and to defend only if attacked. Further details will be given in my speech tomorrow morning.
— Ashraf Ghani (@ashrafghani) May 23, 2020
Zalmay Khalilzad urged both the Afghan and Taliban government to end violence and move ahead with intra-Afghan negotiations, a key pillar of a US peace deal with the Taliban signed in February to allow American troops to leave Afghanistan
The Taliban’s cease-fire announcement follows an Eid-ul-Fitr message from the Taliban leader which said the insurgent group was committed to the peace deal, was not seeking to monopolize power and promised to guarantee the rights of women and men under an Islamic system.
The directive ordered Taliban fighters not to fight but also not to fraternize with Afghan national security forces.
The instructions seemed intended to avoid images that circulated during the last cease-fire in 2018, also during Eid celebrations, including Taliban fighters sharing ice cream and laughing with Afghan national security force soldiers.
The peace deal calls for the full withdrawal of US and NATO troops by the end of 2021 but only if the Taliban honour their commitment to fight against terrorist groups and guarantee that Afghanistan cannot be used as a staging ground of attacks against America and its allies.
The agreement also calls for talks between Taliban and the often-bickering political leadership in Kabul to decide the future of a post-war Afghanistan. It also calls for the release of prisoners by both the government and Taliban as a good will gesture ahead of the talks.