Pakistan welcomes Afghanistan’s ceasefire initiative with Taliban

Islamabad: Pakistan on Sunday welcomed the Afghan government’s declaration of a three-month conditional ceasefire with the Taliban from Monday.

“Pakistan fully supports all such efforts that contribute to achieving durable stability and lasting peace in Afghanistan. The people of Afghanistan deserve it. Coinciding with the Independence Day of Afghanistan, the announcement (by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani) has an even greater significance,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

“As we approach Eid-ul-Azha… we announce a ceasefire that would take effect from Monday, the day of Arafa, till the day of the birth of the Prophet (PBUH), Milad-un-Nabi, provided that the Taliban reciprocate,” Ghani said.

“We also call upon all parties that in defence to the holy tradition of sacrifice during Eid-ul-Azha to implement a ceasefire in hostilities — preferably for a more extended period of time,” the Pakistani spokesman said, adding the ceasefire would allow the people of Afghanistan to celebrate the festival in comfort and peace.

The spokesman said that Pakistan expects such steps will create an environment of enduring peace and stability.