The Taliban militant group’s leadership has reportedly rejected the call by the government for a ceasefire during Eid Al-Adha, due to kick off from tomrrow across Afghanistan.
Two Taliban commanders, privy of the development, have told Reuters that their supreme leader rejected President Ashraf Ghani’s Sunday offer of a three-month ceasefire, beginning with this week’s Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday.
“Our leadership feels that they’ll prolong their stay in Afghanistan if we announced a ceasefire now,” a senior Taliban commander, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Sunday announced a conditional ceasefire with the Taliban group during Eid Ald-Adha.
Speaking during a gathering to mark the 99th Independence Day of Afghanistan, President Ghani said the government announces ceasefire with the Taliban, starting from Monday until Eid Milad un Nabi (Birth of Prophet Mohammad), on the condition that the Taliban group also announces a ceasefire.
He said “As we approach Eid-ul-Adha, and to respect the wishes of different segments of Afghan society including religious scholars, political parties, politicians, women and civil society leaders, youth and members of high peace council in all 34 provinces, and to respect the wishes of the religious scholars of the Islamic world that were gathered in the holy mosques and to respect the wishes of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) and the custodians of the two-holy mosques, the King of Saudi Arabia, we announce a ceasefire that would take effect from tomorrow, Monday, the day of Arafa, till the day of the birth of the prophet (PBUH) i.e., Milad-un-Nabi, provided that the Taliban reciprocate.”