There is a possibility that another ceasefire will be announced by the Afghan government, with the Taliban, over Eid al-Adha next month, President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri said on Saturday.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday afternoon, Chakhansuri said a decision on the ceasefire will be made by the Afghan government and the people.
He said both government and the Taliban want a ceasefire.
“There is the possibility that a ceasefire will be announced over Eid al-Adha. But it’s details will be shared with you through the media at the time of its announcement,” said Chakhansuri.
Afghan government announced a unilateral ceasefire with the Taliban last month, over Eid al-Fitr, giving Taliban a chance to come to the negotiations table. The Taliban responded by also calling a ceasefire, albeit for only three days.
The move was welcomed by all Afghans and the international community and thousands of Taliban fighters headed into cities across Afghanistan as they celebrated their Eid cessation of hostilities with feasts, hugs and selfies with members of the public and government forces.
After three days, the militant group resumed its attacks but government extended its truce, which ended after 18 days at the end of June.
Chakhansuri said the decision about a ceasefire will be supported by the international community but the process will be led by the Afghan government.
The remarks come as clashes are ongoing between government forces and the Taliban in at least 10 provinces.
Referring to a recent military operation and air strike in Kunduz, in which 14 civilians were killed, Chakhansuri said the regulations and laws and military principles of government forces will be reviewed and amended.
“This time, government forces have been given a serious order,” Chakhansuri said.
He also mentioned recent reports of the US possibly holding direct talks with the Taliban and said: “Peace is under the ownership and leadership of Afghanistan’s government. The initiative of the peace plan is owned by government and the people of Afghanistan. Therefore, the talks will go on under the leadership and ownership of Afghans.”