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Conflicting reports over conditional ceasefire agreement

AT News

KABUL: There have been conflicting reports on Taliban’s agreement for a conditional ceasefire.

Politicians who have met the US envoy for Afghan peace Zalmay Khalilzad in his recent visit to Kabul, say that the US and Taliban negotiators have agreed on a conditional ceasefire in their last (10th) meeting in Qatar early this month.

Fazl Ahmad Manawi, from Abdullah Abdullah’s electoral team said that he heard two new words from Khalilzad: “reduction of violence and a ceasefire”.

“Taliban, according to Khalilzad have agreed with a ceasefire, but only with American troops, not with the Afghan forces. So, if the Afghan forces come under attack and call for help from US soldiers and receive positive response from them, then the agreement will be canceled,” Manawi said.

Ismael Khan, a former jihadi commander who was present in a meeting held between Khalilzad and former president, Hamid Karzai in Kabul, said about ceasefire suggestions. “We said if Taliban do not agree with a durable ceasefire, they should be convinced to accept a three-month one to pave the ground for peace process.”

But Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said that no agreement was done in negotiations with the US side, adding that they were consulting.

Meanwhile, Suhail Shahin, spokesman for the militants’ political office in Qatar, said that they would act based on the agreement, but did not detail about the “agreement”.

Separately, Latif Mahmoud, a spokesman for President Ghani emphasized on the ceasefire, saying no progress would be gained in the peace process without a truce.

Khalilzad has so far held 10 rounds of negotiations with Taliban representatives in Qatar.

However, Wall Street Journal has reported that Taliban’s leadership has agreed to a weeklong ceasefire in Afghanistan. The agreement came during council’s meeting held in Pakistani city of Quetta, where Taliban’s supremer leader, Hibatullah Akunndzada attended the meeting and approved ceasefire, according to the report

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