Some senior officials who spoke with Taliban members during the Eid-ul-Fitr ceasefire said many of them acknowledged they were tired of the war and would like peace.
According to official figures, more than 30,000 Taliban fighters entered cities, towns and villages during the three-day ceasefire – and some have not returned to the battlefields.
“There was excitement when elders and Taliban leaders who attended a gathering were seen to be tired of war and they (Taliban) hoped to deliver their messages and demands to their elders so that efforts should be made for a lasting peace,” said Hayatullah Hayat, governor of Nangarhar.
“A commission has been established for this purpose and is contacting them and we welcome this,” said Aminullah Amarkhail, Herat’s police chief.
“We are very tired. We are tired even if it was Jihad or service to the homeland or fight against foreigners. We are really tired of it,” said Hazratullah, a Taliban commander.
The Defense Ministry said the Taliban has however resumed their fight in some provinces, but the level of violence by the group has decreased compared to the weeks leading up to Eid.
“Taliban also need to live in peace. Generally they are not as active against government forces as they were previously,” said Mohammad Radmanish, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense.
The High Peace Council said the opinion of some Taliban members has changed regarding the war against government.
“The hopes are high that there will be talks at different levels in the near future,” said Sayed Ehsan Taheri, a spokesman for the council.
“The (national) security council had many meetings. Specific instructions have been made on how to manage the ceasefire and how to manage the situation when a Taliban member goes to his home or goes out for a walk and has an ice-cream,” said Shahussain Murtazawi, a spokesman for President Ashraf
Ghani, who had been referring to some Taliban members having enjoyed ice cream in Kabul over Eid.
This comes after Ghani extended the Afghan government’s unilateral ceasefire with the Taliban for another 10 days.