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Taliban announces a 3-day Eid-ul-Adha ceasefire

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KABUL: The Taliban has announced a ceasefire with the Afghan government that will take effect when then Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

The Taliban group on Tuesday evening in a statement declared a 3-day ceasefire staring from Friday, ordering its fighter not to attack Afghan security forces unless responding to their attack.

The group also called on their members not to enter into territory under control of the Afghan government.

This is as the Taliban leader, Hebatullah Akundzada, has termed the prisoner release process a big part in building trust and shortening the path toward peace. In his message on the occasion of upcoming Muslim Festival of Eid-ul-Adha, Akundzada called for “immediate” removal of obstacles to intra-Afghan talks.

“Domestic parties should immediately remove all obstacles obstructing intra-Afghan dialogue and give priority to the greater interests of our homeland over division of smaller interests so that the Afghans may jointly eliminate all internal and potential causes of war and conflict, restore peace to our homeland and reach an understanding among themselves over future Islamic government,” he said.

Akhundzada welcomed US evacuation of troops from five bases in Afghanistan. He urged the US to show “seriousness, urgency and prudence” in the implantation of the deal as he referred to the issues of prisoner releases, black lists and military operations.

He also talked about construction and development of Afghanistan under the shade of a pure “Islamic government”.

He did not say a word about reduction in violence for ceasefire. The Afghan masses asked both the government and the Taliban to declare a ceasefire at least for three days during Eids. But so far no development has been made in regard.

The Americans signed a peace agreement with the Taliban on February 29th in Doha to reach a political settlement in Afghanistan.

Based on the agreement all foreign troops would leave Afghanistan by May 2021, conditions permitting.

Based on the deal, 5,000 Taliban prisoners should be freed by the Afghanistan, in which over 4,000 released thus far. 1,000 Afghan security forces prisoners should also be freed by the Taliban that so far 800 are freed. The intra-Afghan talks, which was expected to be held on March, 10 days after signing peace deal, has it walls due to controversies surrounding the prisoners swap process. The government said not to release around 500 prisoners with having big criminal records, including rape charges. However, the Taliban insists on releasing 5,000 prisoners and threaten not to sit in negotiating table with the Afghans unless all their prisoners release.

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