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Karzai calls on Taliban to honor ceasefire

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AT-KABUL: Former President Hamid Karzai has put weight behind cease-fire decision announced by the National Unity Government, asking the Taliban to honor the step.

“I am in full support of the declaration of cease-fire by the government with the Taliban for peace in Afghanistan,” the ex-president was quoted as saying, in a statement on Friday.

He added, “Peace is our shared wish and our responsibility to work for. I call on the Taliban to accept the cease-fire and join the peace process.”

On Thursday, President Ashraf Ghani announced cease-fire with Taliban following scholars meeting on Monday where they issue a fatwa against the ongoing war in the country.

“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,” President Ghani twitted.

He added, “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.

But this brief is not for Daesh and other foreign backed terrorist organizations and their affiliates, the president added, saying “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.”

“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,” the president added.

It is worth mentioning that major partners of Afghanistan have also welcomed the announcement of cease-fire, calling it a positive step toward peace.