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Editorial: Unilateral ceasefire

President Ashraf Ghani in an unprecedented move, declared an eight-day armistice with the Taliban militants. In a video message released Thursday, the president ordered the security forces to stop launching “offensive” on the Taliban fighters. The ceasefire that is planned to begin on Tuesday and will last for one week, is said to have been in response to the religious scholars’ demand who called on both government and armed groups last week to observe ceasefire at least during the holy month of Ramadan.  The religious scholars called on the Taliban to give a positive response to the Afghan government’s peace offer in order to prevent further bloodshed.

The verdicts come after Afghan, Pakistani and Indonesian clerics called attack and suicide bombings unlawful in Afghanistan. They had also called on Taliban to stop fighting, a demand that was downplayed by the insurgent group. Taliban rejected the recent clerics’ call as a symbolic gathering and part of the US propagandas against them.

When the enemy is repeatedly rejecting us by multiple attacks, is it necessary to repeat our peace, ceasefire and negotiations? Is this ceasefire from a weak position? If no, why shouldn’t we use our power against those who kill our dear ones every day? This is clear that peace is better than violence, but peace could become with a rival who also wants end to the war and violence.

President Ghani has said in his message that fighting against Daesh terrorist group and other armed groups would continue while ceasefire with Taliban is dominant. In the people’s mind, there is no difference between Daesh and Taliban as they both attack and kill Afghans and disorder security, destroy the country.

The government may tries to pave the ground for a peace negotiation with Taliban officials through the ceasefire and other policies it holds hidden. Good if that is true, but the government and President Ghani in particular should not forget that the people of Afghanistan have gained significant achievements during the past 17 years like democratic governments, parliament, security forces, freedom of speech, education and social freedoms that would not change with a peace talk with the Taliban who had deprived us from education and work.

This is a warning that the government should be very aware that people would not give another sacrifice to bring those to peace talks who have already taken thousands of lives of the innocent civilians.

The government is requested not to keep anything hidden from the media and people. It has to share every development, progress or failure of the talks with the people.

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