The MoI has said Taliban fighters can visit friends and family in cities over Eid as long as weapons are left at the gates.
Countdown Begins For Taliban’s Ceasefire
The countdown for the Taliban ceasefire has started and according to the Ministry of Defense, all members of the group can enter cities, including Kabul, to spend time with friends and family over Eid.
However, the MoI said the Taliban members entering cities will have to leave their weapons at the gates.
After President Ashraf Ghani announced an eight-day ceasefire last week, the Taliban responded by announcing a three-day ceasefire – over Eid.
Already in its third day, government’s ceasefire was again marred by clashes between government forces and militants – with the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces on the defense.
One area that has been hard hit is Kohistan district in Faryab province where more than 100 government forces are still under siege.
“We hope that the problem is solved by the end of today (Thursday) and Kohistan is relieved of this problem,” Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said.
“About 200 people who are members of the public and forces are in a part of Kohistan and have no water or food,” said Fawzia Raufi, an MP.
However, the interior minister, Wais Ahmad Barmak, said the battlegrounds have not changed after government’s ceasefire came into effect.
“The enemy is unfortunately very active in Faryab and there has been no change in this in the past three days,” he said.
Meanwhile the US Army has stressed the need to strengthen the capabilities of Afghan government forces.
“We are not into creating more artificial dependencies. We are into making them self-sufficient. So that is our objective. Then as we evolve through this fighting season, our commander over here in Afghanistan, our goal is to set conditions for reconciliation from a fighting season perspective,” said Army Col. Scott Jackson, commander of the US’s 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the High Peace Council said government is ready to extend the ceasefire if the Taliban gives a green light.