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Taliban turn down calls for Ramadan ceasefire

AT News

KABUL:  Citing the critical condition of Afghanistan aimed the spiraling spread of covid-19, the Afghan government called on Taliban group to accept ceasefire during month of Ramadan, a plea which has faced a thunderous rant by the group.

Stop killing Afghans, President Ghani said in his message to the Taliban to accept truce.

It has come as a distributing and bloody escalation of violence and a spate of full-fledged attacks are taking devastating tool on the Afghan security forces. In the past week, over 50 Afghan soldiers were killed in two days of bloodshed in the north part of Afghanistan.

Taliban locked horns with Kabul over inmate’s release, and its spokesman said Kabul’s ceasefire request faced backslash after reluctance to release the prisoners based on peace agreement signed between US and Taliban in late February.

“The government’s inattention to “thousands” of prisoners—who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus—made Ghani’s appeal insincere, and this and other factors made a ceasefire improbable,” Suhil Shaheen said on a tweet.

Earlier, Shaheen had chastised the Afghan government for making excuses about the release of prisoners. He said the inmates should be released based on their peace agreement with the United States.

Asking for ceasefire is not rational while thousands of prisoners are prone to covid-19 disease in jails and government’s attempt for stumbling block in the away of peace process to complete implementation of the US-Taliban agreement, Shaheen added.

Based on the agreement, government has to release 5,000 prisoners in a bid to kick start intra-Afghan talks to end the endless war in the country. Kabul administration said 1,500 prisoners will be released gradually. It also laid down conditions for their released including promises that they will not return to battlefield.

A top government official said that Taliban are up 15 prisoners to be released in immediate move, in which five among them were involved in major attacks in Kabul, including Germany Embassy bombing that killed dozens of civilians. The embassy stopped issuing visa after the attack.

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