Afghanistan on Thursday declared a ceasefire with the Taliban in the week of Eid-ul-Fitr, from June 12 to June 19. This is the first ceasefire agreement by the government with the extremist group since President Ashraf Ghani came to power in 2014.
However, security forces will continue to target groups other than the Taliban, including the Islamic State and other “foreign-backed terrorist organisations”, Ghani said on Twitter.
The Taliban have yet to respond to the announcement.
“This ceasefire is an opportunity for Taliban to introspect that their violent campaign is not winning them hearts and minds but further alienating,” Ghani said on Twitter. “With the ceasefire announcement we epitomise the strength of the Afghan government and the will of the people for a peaceful resolution to the Afghan conflict.”
The decision came after a meeting of Islamic clerics from across the country who issued a fatwa against suicide bombings. More than 2,000 religious scholars attended the event, which was attacked by a suicide bomber on Monday. They also recommended the ceasefire with the terror group.
The clerics’ fatwa had said the ongoing war in Afghanistan was “illegitimate and has no root in the Sharia”. They also called on Taliban militants to restore peace and facilitate the exit of foreign troops.