(AmericanPoliticalDaily.com)- Ashraf Ghani, the President of Afghanistan, announced on Sunday that he will respond to an agreed ceasefire with the Taliban by releasing 2,000 soldiers. He asked that the Taliban, an Islamist organization that has been responsible for the gruesome murders of thousands of innocent people (including Americans), that they release some of the prisoners held on their side.
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On Saturday, the Taliban agreed to a three-day ceasefire in the spirit of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday which started on Sunday. It came after months of violence and warfare that was only getting worse, as the Afghanistan military fought against extremist Taliban insurgents. The Taliban, however, didn’t take credit for a particularly brutal attack that took place recently, where armed men shot innocent people in a maternity ward of a hospital. Two dozen people, women and children, were killed in the attack and Afghanistan blamed the Taliban for it.
As a peace offering, the Afghan government agreed to honor the ceasefire over Eid, which was praised by the United States. It is, however, temporary.
President Ghani originally said that the provisions in the deal between the United States and the Taliban, were not favorable towards the Afghani government as it required them to release 5,000 soldiers and the Taliban just 1,000. So far, Ghani has released 1,000 Taliban soldiers but has said he won’t release any more until the Taliban starts releasing their prisoners.
On Sunday, Ghani committed to releasing another 2,000 soldiers following the ceasefire to “ensure the success of the peace process” and even said that the government is willing to talk to the Taliban to come to an agreement that would end the fighting.
“As a responsible government we take one more step forward,” President Ghani said during an Eid address to the people of his country. “I announce that I will expedite the Taliban prisoner releases.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also reportedly called Ghani to congratulate him for the ceasefire, and told him that the United States hopes it is the start of more direct negotiations between the Afghanis and the Taliban.