Militants urged to agree to a ceasefire in exchange for the release of more prisoners
The Afghan government on Monday pressed its calls for a truce with the Taliban, reiterating its desire for a long-term ceasefire at historic talks in Qatar.The two sides are in the early stages of meetings in Doha as they try to hammer out a deal that would bring 19 years of bloodshed in Afghanistan to a close.The Afghan government and its allies, including the U.S., called for the warring sides to lay down their arms at Saturday’s opening ceremony. But the Taliban, who fought a years-long guerrilla campaign against American and Afghan forces after they were toppled in a 2001 U.S.-led invasion, did not mention a truce as they came to the negotiating table.The head of the peace process for the Afghan government, Abdullah Abdullah, suggested, however, that the Taliban could offer a ceasefire in exchange for the release of more of their prisoners.Afghan presidential spokesman Sediq Seddiqi tweeted on Monday that the presence of government negotiators at the talks “is aimed at achieving a ceasefire, ending the violence and ensuring lasting peace and stability in the country.”The U.S. struck an agreement with the Taliban in February that will see it withdraw troops from Afghanistan. The deal, which paved the way for the Doha negotiations, did not commit the insurgents to any reduction of violence, only requiring that it be “an item on the agenda” in negotiations.But Crisis Group analyst Andrew Watkins told AFP “the Afghan government needs a ceasefire because without current levels of U.S. support, it would very likely continue to lose ground to the Taliban”.
You have reached your limit for free articles this month.
To get full access, please subscribe.
Already have an account ? Sign in
Show Less Plan
Subscription Benefits Include
Find mobile-friendly version of articles from the day’s newspaper in one easy-to-read list.
Move smoothly between articles as our pages load instantly.
Enjoy reading as many articles as you wish without any limitations.
A one-stop-shop for seeing the latest updates, and managing your preferences.
A select list of articles that match your interests and tastes.
We brief you on the latest and most important developments, three times a day.
*Our Digital Subscription plans do not currently include the e-paper ,crossword, iPhone, iPad mobile applications and print. Our plans enhance your reading experience.
A letter from the Editor
Dear subscriber,Thank you!Your support for our journalism is invaluable. It’s a support for truth and fairness in journalism. It has helped us keep apace with events and happenings.The Hindu has always stood for journalism that is in the public interest. At this difficult time, it becomes even more important that we have access to information that has a bearing on our health and well-being, our lives, and livelihoods. As a subscriber, you are not only a beneficiary of our work but also its enabler.We also reiterate here the promise that our team of reporters, copy editors, fact-checkers, designers, and photographers will deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.Suresh Nambath