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Religious scholars ask Taliban to extend ceasefire

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AT-KABUL: Some religious scholars called on the Taliban militants to extend ceasefire after the group ended the three-day long ceasefire it had declared for the days of the Eid-ul-Fetr.

The clerics in a gathering held Wednesday in Kabul, asked the militants to come to the peace talks with the government.

They added that the three-day ceasefire indicated how tired the Taliban fighters and government forces were from the continuing war and want peace.

“It is important that first the two sides set a ceasefire. The government extended ceasefire and asked the Taliban to do so to pave the ground for the peace and solution and remove obstacles ahead,” said Maulavi Attaullah Faizani, a religious scholar.

The government had announced an eight-day ceasefire and Taliban declared the three-day one.

President Ashraf Ghani extended the ceasefire for 10 more days, but Taliban rejected his demand to extend and resumed attacks on the security forces’ checkpoints.

However, the government has frequently emphasized on the extension of the ceasefire.

In a meeting with the members of the peace convoy, President Ghani said that he would extend ceasefire for a year if the militants accept.

He said he would go to any country that Taliban choose for the peace talks with no pre conditions.

The peace convoy departed on foot from Helmand 36 days ago and arrived in Kabul on Monday walking around 700 kilometers.

Political experts say they are optimistic to the peace because Pakistani officials were visiting Kabul several times and the United States pressured on Taliban.