Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday announced a week-long ceasefire with the Taliban for Eid. Although, operations against other groups including Islamic State (IS) will continue. The ceasefire will last from the 27th of Ramadan until the fifth day of Eid-al-Fitr said President Ashraf Ghani in a tweet which indicates that would run from June 12-19.
Although it’s not clear whether the Taliban had agreed to the ceasefire. If Taliban agrees to it, then it would be the first ceasefire for Eid since the US invasion in 2001.
"We are checking with our officials regarding the ceasefire announcement," said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
The move has come after a gathering of Afghanistan's top priests in the capital Kabul who called for a ceasefire and issued a fatwa against suicide bombings and attacks. Ghani said his government supported the clerics' call.
"The government of Afghanistan not only supports the unanimous fatwa announcement by the ulemas (scholars), but also backs the ceasefire," said President Ghani.
"(At) the same time, the Afghan government directs all the security and defence forces of the country... to stop all the attacks on the Taliban, but the operation will continue against Daesh (Islamic State), Al-Qaeda and other international terrorist networks," he added.
It is noteworthy to mention that in February, Ghani revealed a plan to open peace talks with the Taliban and even recognising them as a political party and called for a ceasefire.
Last month, the Pentagon said that senior Taliban officials are secretly negotiating with Afghan officials for a possible ceasefire.
"A lot of the diplomatic activity and dialogue is occurring off the stage, and it's occurring at multiple levels," said General John Nicholson in a teleconference with reporters at the Pentagon.
A ceasefire would a welcome step for the civilians in the war-torn country like Afghanistan. However, in recent years, Taliban along with other militant groups like the Islamic State have stepped up attacks on Kabul. Thus, the residents have limited their movements and Eid celebrations unlike other Muslim nations.