KABUL, AFGHANISTAN: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a ceasefire with Taliban insurgents on Thursday until June 20, coinciding with the end of the Islamic fasting season, but said fighting against other militant groups such as Islamic State will continue.
He made the announcement in a televised address. "This ceasefire is an opportunity for Taliban to introspect (sic) that their violent campaign is not winning them hearts and minds but further alienating," he said in a tweet.
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"With the ceasefire announcement we epitomize the strength of the Afghan government and the will of the people for a peaceful resolution to the Afghan conflict."
In a series of tweets, the Afghan president announced a ceasefire from the 27th of Ramazan until the fifth day of Eid ul Fitr. The president spoke of the recent fatwa issued by Muslim clerics against the suicide bombing, calling for the Taliban to reflect on their violent campaign.
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan announces ceasefire from the 27th of Ramadan until the fifth day of Eid-ul-Fitr following the historic ruling [Fatwa] of the Afghan Ulema.— Ashraf Ghani (@ashrafghani) June 7, 2018
The Fatwa declared that violence and suicide attacks are not only against Islam but also strictly forbidden in our religion. We also welcome the unprecedented fatwa that only the state can declare jihad thereby rendering violent campaign by any group anything but a holy war.— Ashraf Ghani (@ashrafghani) June 7, 2018
This ceasefire is an opportunity for Taliban to introspect that their violent campaign is not wining them hearts and minds but further alienating the #Afghan people from their cause.— Ashraf Ghani (@ashrafghani) June 7, 2018
The president tweeted that Afghan national defense and security forces will continue to target Islamic State and other outfits but will desist from targeting the Afghan Taliban.
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#Afghan national defense and security forces will only stop offensive maneuvers against Afghan armed Taliban and will continue to target Daesh and other foreign backed terrorist organizations and their affiliates.— Ashraf Ghani (@ashrafghani) June 7, 2018
The Taliban are seeking to reimpose strict Islamic law after their ouster in 2001 at the hands of U.S.-led troops.