World

Afghan President Pitches Cease-Fire Agreement To Taliban During Ramadan

REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Joseph Lafave Contributor

The Afghan national government, led by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, announced Thursday that it has proposed a temporary cease-fire agreement to the Taliban, according to Reuters.

The agreement is slated to last until the end of Eid, the religious holiday that signals the end of Ramadan around June 20.

While this agreement signifies a move in the right direction for the country, Taliban officials have not formally agreed to the cease-fire. Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s spokesman told the AFP that they are “checking with our officials regarding the ceasefire announcement.”

If signed by all parties, this would be the first official cease-fire between the national government and the Taliban during Eid since 2001.

Many believe the cease-fire is a direct result of a recent fatwa — a religious ruling given by Islamic clerics — that condemned the practice of suicide bombings, calling the “haram” which means forbidden under Islamic law. The Fatwa also called for an end to hostilities in Afghanistan.

In retaliation for the recent fatwa, ISIS forces inside Afghanistan, known as ISIS-K, carried out a deadly suicide bombing in Kabul which killed several of the country’s top Imams.

The cease-fire only pertains to the conflict between the Afghan government and the Taliban and does not include ISIS-K. However, if finalized, the United States has agreed to adhere to the conditions of the cease-fire as well.

“We will adhere to the wishes of Afghanistan for the country to enjoy a peaceful end to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and support the search for an end to the conflict,” said U.S. Army General John Nicholson, head of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan according to the AFP.

Not every military commander on the ground is enthusiastic about the cease-fire. Some Afghan National Army commanders believe the Taliban will simply use the break in the fighting to rearm and regroup.

“From a military prospect, it is not a good move,” said Atiqullah Amarkhel, a former General in the Afghan Army while speaking to Reuters.