World Taliban propose brief Afghan ceasefire: insurgent sources

16:26  16 january  2020
16:26  16 january  2020 Source:   msn.com

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The Taliban insurgency began shortly after the group's fall from power following the 2001 War in Afghanistan . The Taliban forces are fighting against the Afghan government

Ghani proposed a ceasefire and a release of prisoners among a range of options including new elections involving the militants, and a constitutional review in a pact Afghan security forces say the impact has been significant, but the Taliban roam huge swaths of the country and, with foreign troop

The Taliban have offered a brief ceasefire to the US, two insurgent sources said Thursday, a move which could allow the resumption of talks seeking a deal for Washington to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

a group of people sitting on a rock: The US-Taliban talks were aimed at allowing Washington to begin withdrawing troops in return for various security guarantees© THOMAS WATKINS The US-Taliban talks were aimed at allowing Washington to begin withdrawing troops in return for various security guarantees

Washington has for weeks been calling on the militants to reduce violence, posing it as a condition for resuming formal negotiations on an agreement that would see US troops begin to leave the country in return for security guarantees from the insurgents.

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The Taliban insisted that the brief truce would not apply to foreign troops. The unconditional ceasefire would give the Taliban time to reflect on the negative consequences of their "violent "With the ceasefire announcement, we epitomize the strength of the Afghan government and the will of the

Halt in hostilities coincides with government’s own stand-down and is first in nearly 17 years but does not include foreign troops.

"It is an offer for a ceasefire either for seven or 10 days," a senior Taliban official who requested anonymity told AFP, adding that the offer was made to US negotiators in Doha.

"It has been finalised and given to the Americans. It is going to pave the way for an agreement."

A second insurgent source, based in Pakistan, confirmed that the offer had been handed to the US.

The Taliban have yet to release an official statement, and Washington has not said whether it has received any offer from the insurgents or what its response will be.

The Taliban and the US had been negotiating the deal for a year, and were on the brink of an announcement in September 2019 when President Donald Trump abruptly declared the process "dead", citing Taliban violence.

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Under the proposed deal, Taliban officials say, the insurgent group would be bound to prevent Taliban -controlled Afghan areas from The Taliban have previously refused all offers of a ceasefire by the Afghan government, except for a three-day truce in June 2018 over the Eidul Fitr holidays.

During the ceasefire Taliban militants could receive medical and humanitarian assistance and Taliban prisoners could see their families, he added. Neighbouring Pakistan is considered key in starting the peace process as many Afghan Taliban leaders are believed to be living inside the country.

Talks were later restarted between the two sides in December in Qatar, but were paused again following an attack near the Bagram military base in Afghanistan, which is run by the US.

The insurgents' offer, if accepted by the Americans, could see the negotiations begin again.

The confirmation from the insurgents comes hours after Pakistan's foreign minister said the Taliban has shown "a willingness" to reduce violence.

"Today, positive progress has been made, the Taliban have shown their willingness to reduce the violence, which was a demand... it's a step towards the peace agreement," said Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in a video statement.

He gave no further details.

Islamabad has helped facilitate the talks between the militants and Washington in Qatar.

Pakistan was one of only three countries to recognise the Taliban regime, and its shadowy military establishment -- particularly the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) -- is widely believed to back the bloody insurgency in Afghanistan.

Islamabad denies the accusation.

Any agreement with the Taliban is expected to have two main pillars -- an American withdrawal from Afghanistan and a commitment by the insurgents not to offer sanctuary to jihadists.

The Taliban's relationship with Al-Qaeda was the main reason cited for the US invasion nearly 18 years ago.

The Taliban have until now refused to negotiate with the Afghan government, which they consider an illegitimate regime, raising fears that fighting will continue regardless of any deal ironed out with the Americans.


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