Left Menu
Development News Edition

Taliban say they handed cease-fire offer to US peace envoy

PTI | Islamabad | Updated: 16-01-2020 15:27 IST | Created: 16-01-2020 15:25 IST
Taliban say they handed cease-fire offer to US peace envoy
File photo Image Credit: ANI

The Taliban have given the US envoy a document outlining their offer for a temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan that would last between seven and 10 days, Taliban officials familiar with the negotiations said Thursday. The offer is seen as an opportunity to open a window to an eventual peace deal for Afghanistan that would allow the United States to bring home its troops and end the 18-year war, America's longest conflict.

The cease-fire offer was handed to Zalmay Khalilzad, Washington's envoy for talks with the insurgents, late on Wednesday in Qatar, a Gulf Arab country where the Taliban maintain a political office. Khalilzad has been pressing for a cease-fire but it wasn't immediately clear whether the Taliban proposal would be enough to allow for the on-again-off-again talks between the Taliban and the US to restart, with the aim of eventually signing a peace deal.

Previously, Khalilzad said a US-Taliban deal would also include the start of negotiations among Afghans on both sides of the conflict to hammer out a so-called road map to a post-war Afghanistan. That road map would tackle thorny issues such as a permanent cease-fire, women's and minority rights, and the fate of thousands of Taliban fighters and also militias loyal to Kabul's warlords.

But the Taliban have been refusing to talk with the Kabul government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. The two are currently fighting over who won last year's presidential elections.

The initial vote count gave Ghani the win but Abdullah, who came in second, is contesting the count. A final outcome has yet to be announced by Afghanistan's election commission. Last September, the Taliban, and the U.S. appeared close to signing a deal when an upsurge in Taliban attacks, including the killing of another US soldier, prompted President Donald Trump to scrap the talks.

On Thanksgiving, during his first visit to US troops in Afghanistan, Trump softened his stance, saying the Taliban were ready to make a deal, though both Kabul and Washington insisted the Taliban would have to show a sign of good faith by reducing their attacks. In December, the Taliban leadership headquartered in Pakistan agreed to put forth a temporary cease-fire offer.

A Taliban official said that mistrust has long characterized the US-Taliban talks and that the insurgents hesitated to offer a more permanent cease-fire without having US troops pull out first. Should the truce deal fall, returning Taliban fighters to the battlefield with the same intensity could be a problem, the official said

"' There was thinking within the Taliban ranks that it would be difficult for them to reorganize fighters after a break in fighting," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the talks. Taliban fighters were also unwilling to lay down their arms, "thinking it's their fighting that's forcing the U.S. to come to the table," he said.

The Taliban today control around half of Afghanistan and continue to stage near-daily attacks targeting Afghan and US forces, Afghan government officials or those seen as loyal to the Kabul administration but many civilians are also dying in the crossfire of the insurgent attacks, as well as in operations against the Taliban carried out by Afghan and US forces.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

New farm bills in India: Focusing on farms or farmers?

... ...

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...

Guinea’s elections hearken back to the autocracy and violence of its past

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Brazil health minister ill with suspected case of COVID-19

Brazilian Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello has fallen ill with a suspected case of COVID-19, the ministrys press office said on Tuesday, as the country battles with the third-worst coronavirus outbreak globally, with nearly 5.3 million case...

COVID-19: U.S. Northeast states discourage travel; California rebuffs theme parks

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Tuesday urged their residents to not travel between the three states as the U.S. Northeast sees a rise in COVID-19 cases, while California said major theme parks including Disneyland would not be open...

Amazon extends work from home option till June

Amazon.com Inc on Tuesday told employees whose work can be done from home that they can do so until June, extending the timeline on a return to office due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Employees who work in a role that can effectively be done fr...

Venezuela plans to use Russian and Chinese coronavirus vaccines

Venezuela plans to vaccinate citizens with Russian and Chinese coronavirus vaccines, which could arrive in the South American nation in December or January, President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday. It has been announced that the completed ...

Give Feedback