Afghan Premier offers ceasefire to Taliban

Kabul [Afghanistan], Aug 20: Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday evening announced a conditional ceasefire with the Taliban for a period of three months to mark the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.

The Afghan President made the announcement while addressing a select group of guests at an Independence Day event, reported the Tolo News.

He said that the ceasefire would start on August 20 and would end on November 19, adding, the ceasefire would only be implemented if the Taliban respect it.

“We announce a ceasefire that would take effect from tomorrow, Monday, the day of Arafa, till the day of the birth of the prophet i.e., Milad-un-Nabi, (November 19) provided that the Taliban reciprocate,” Ghani said.

Earlier on June 7, Ghani had declared a unilateral ceasefire with the Taliban from June 11 to June 19 to mark Eid al-Fitr.

Ever since the Islamist group was ousted from power in a U.S.-led military intervention in 2001, Afghanistan and the Taliban have been at the loggerheads.

On August 13, Afghanistan confirmed that more than 100 people have been killed and 133 injured since August 10 after Taliban militants launched an attack in Ghazni.

Last week, President Ghani visited the war zone to take stock of the situation and ordered an investigation into the attacks.