| Diplomacy

Ghani 'prepared' for ceasefire with Taliban after Loya Jirga calls for truce

AFP


About 3,200 delegates from across the country gathered April 29 through May 3 in Kabul to discuss a potential framework for peace with the Taliban. [Afghan Presidential Palace/Facebook]

About 3,200 delegates from across the country gathered April 29 through May 3 in Kabul to discuss a potential framework for peace with the Taliban. [Afghan Presidential Palace/Facebook]

KABUL -- President Ashraf Ghani said he is conditionally "prepared" to implement a ceasefire with the Taliban following a call by delegates at a consultative Loya Jirga for an immediate and permanent truce.

Discussions at the jirga in Kabul ended Thursday, but on Friday (May 3) participants released a statement and Ghani gave a speech. The jirga saw about 3,200 religious and tribal leaders, politicians and representatives come together with the aim of making a breakthrough in the war in Afghanistan, now in its 18th year.

"The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban movement should declare and implement an immediate and permanent ceasefire," delegates said in their declaration at the end of the Loya Jirga.


Female participants of the consultative Loya Jirga in Kabul listen as President Ashraf Ghani speaks during its last day May 3. For the first time in such jirgas, about 30% of the participants were women. [Afghan Presidential Palace/Facebook]

Female participants of the consultative Loya Jirga in Kabul listen as President Ashraf Ghani speaks during its last day May 3. For the first time in such jirgas, about 30% of the participants were women. [Afghan Presidential Palace/Facebook]


President Ashraf Ghani addresses the jirga May 3 in Kabul. Ghani said he was "prepared to implement the fair and legitimate demand" for a ceasefire but stressed it "can't be one-sided". [Afghan Presidential Palace/Facebook]

President Ashraf Ghani addresses the jirga May 3 in Kabul. Ghani said he was "prepared to implement the fair and legitimate demand" for a ceasefire but stressed it "can't be one-sided". [Afghan Presidential Palace/Facebook]

The ceasefire should start at the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, which is set to begin next Monday (May 6), said the delegates.

Ghani Friday told jirga delegates he was "prepared to implement the fair and legitimate demand" for a ceasefire but stressed it "can't be one-sided".

"If the Taliban are fully ready for a ceasefire, then we can talk about the technical details," Ghani said in the speech.

The president also promised to release 175 Taliban prisoners as a gesture of "goodwill".

The Taliban last year announced a three-day ceasefire at the end of Ramadan after Ghani declared a unilateral truce for eight days earlier in the month.

It was the first formal nationwide ceasefire since 2001 and was met with unprecedented scenes of reconciliation and jubilation across the country.

This week's rare summit, the first of its kind since 2013, saw emotions riding high as attendees shared tears, recriminations and at least one fistfight as they revisited the horrors of Afghanistan's recent past and contemplated peace with their longtime foe.

Doha talks

The end of the jirga came amid separate talks between the Taliban and US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Doha, Qatar. The militant group so far has refused to speak with Ghani's government.

The talks focus on a potential deal that would see the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan in return for the Taliban guaranteeing terrorist groups could no longer operate in the country.

Khalilzad said on Twitter that he had told the Taliban "that the Afghan people, who are their brothers & sisters, want this war to end. It is time to put down arms, stop the violence, & embrace peace".

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Comment Policy Captcha
| 06-10-2019

There is peace in Afghanistan. The actions and behaviors of our ruler, as well as those who are on the helm [of power], however, is not Islamic. For, if it was an Islamic behavior peace would automatically prevail in our country. People are thinking about their personal whims and desires, and not about others....

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| 05-12-2019

Peace is our dignity, provided that the United States leaves and Ashraf Ghani submit to the orders of Islam, otherwise...

Reply
| 05-07-2019

If Taliban do not accept ceasefire, they should be answered harshly.

Reply
| 05-06-2019

In my opinion, President Ghani must have a general supervision, so that he can serve people. He also needs to ask our honorable clerics to lecture about peace from mosques' pulpits.

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| 05-05-2019

If Taliban truly belonging to Afghanistan they should have to embrace the peace. To live in the peace is a commandment of ALLAH

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| 05-05-2019

The Afghanistan's war killed many government soldiers, Taliban and coalition soldiers. All these were humans who should have been left to live a normal life, but they got victims of the foolishness and greediness of the evildoer Pakistan, Iran, Russia and America. May Allah the almighty bring peace and tranquility all over the world so that all humans can live a peaceful life.

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| 05-04-2019

It was a nice article. May Allah keep you alive.

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| 05-04-2019

the peace jirga can be useful for all aghan people

Reply
| 05-04-2019

Yes

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