As Muslims around the world prepare for Eid al-Adha, people in Afghanistan are eagerly hoping for another ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
Some government officials have also expressed optimism that a second ceasefire could be announced.
But ordinary Afghans have said that to end the ongoing bloodshed in the country, the two sides must seal a permanent truce so that no more blood is shed.
“We want to address the Afghan Taliban who call themselves Muslims and Afghans, I hope this time they respond as positively to the voice of the nation as they did during the three-day ceasefire (over Eid al-Fitr) and respect the truce,” said Laila Jaffari, a member of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC).
“We want a ceasefire, but not a ceasefire for two or three days, because previously we saw the three-day ceasefire and later saw the outcome. We want a permanent ceasefire to be announced in Afghanistan and urge both sides to work together for peace in Afghanistan,” said one resident in Kabul.
“People are fleeing Afghanistan. When there is no ceasefire, then people would rather leave their country and live somewhere else,” another resident said.
Meanwhile, members of the People’s Peace Movement (PPM) are also hoping a second ceasefire leads to permanent peace in Afghanistan.
Pacha Khan is one peace activist who joined the movement seven months ago in Helmand.
He says that the Taliban is also tired of war.
“There was no war or violence in areas where there was a ceasefire. Taliban and the soldiers met each other. I think both the Taliban and government are tired of war now,” said Pacha Khan Mawla Dad, PPM’s public relations chief.
“If the ceasefire is announced for a short period of time, the country will face a similar situation and the turomoil will continue which we have witnessed in the past forty days. The important issue is that certain countries and intelligence agencies must stop their interference in Afghanistan,” said Bismilah Watandost, PPM’s spokesman.
In June, President Ashraf Ghani announced a ceasefire with the Taliban after a religious scholars meeting in Kabul issued a fatwa against the ongoing war in the country.
In a reciprocal move, the Taliban, on June 9, said in a statement that it had ordered its fighters not to clash with Afghan security forces for the first three days of Eid.
In the statement sent to the media, the Taliban said its fighters would not launch attacks against Afghan security forces but that they would defend themselves if necessary.