Written by Staff Writer
01 Jul, 2018 | 3:36 pm
Reuters – Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Saturday announced an end to his government’s unilateral ceasefire with Taliban, and ordered security forces to resume operations across the country.
On June 7, Ghani announced a week-long ceasefire with the Taliban.
The government’s ceasefire, which lasted 18 days after it was extended once, overlapped with the Taliban’s independent three-day truce for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr festival, which marks the end of Ramadan. The three days of no fighting were unprecedented in the nearly 17-year conflict. Speaking at a press conference in Kabul, Ghani said it is up to the Taliban to decide whether they want to join the peace process or continue fighting.
The president said the ceasefire had broken years of deadlock between the government and the Taliban. “If we only wait for a peace agreement and then implement the ceasefire, we will have to wait endlessly until the bloodshed is over. We had come to a deadlock before, like two vehicles that both want to cross a bridge to the other side but neither is willing to take a step back and lets the other one pass first. The ceasefire broke such a deadlock,” said Ghani.
The extension of truce by Ghani has been widely welcomed by Afghans and people from all walks of life have called upon Taliban militants to reciprocate the offer. The Taliban, however, has rejected the offer and said it would continue its war against the Afghan government and foreign forces stationed in Afghanistan.
President Ghani on Saturday called upon the Taliban to respect the Afghan people’s demand for peace and enter into dialogue in order to achieve lasting peace and stability in the country
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