Most members of Taliban councils back Afghan ceasefire: Report

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Kabul, Dec 27 (IANS) “Most members” of the Taliban councils in Pakistan have agreed to establish a temporary ceasefire in Afghanistan, an informed source said.

The source, familiar with the US-Taliban peace talks in Qatar, said on Thursday that the final decision about the ceasefire will be made by the Taliban’s top leader, Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, reports TOLO News.

But the Quetta Council of the Taliban, which is mostly military, still had questions about the decision, the source added.

Although the Taliban have not officially announced anything, Jalaluddin Shinwari, a former member, believes that eventually the views of the group’s politicians and militaries will be coordinated.

“Every decision taken by the leadership is obeyed, based on Sharia. But since a discussion is an Islamic principle, there must be some talks between the political leaders and military commanders of the (Taliban),” said Shinwari.

Afghan politicians have also discussed over the past few days how to form a delegation to participate in intra-afghan talks, said TOLO News.

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, called on the parties involved in the war in Afghanistan to reach a political agreement, to not harm civilians and to announce a permanent ceasefire.

“The UN urges all stakeholders to seek ways to reduce levels of violence, especially the violence which harms civilians, on the way to a lasting political settlement and a permanent ceasefire.

“Implementing a reduction of violence is also important in creating an environment that enables constructive intra-Afghan talks on peace to take place,” Yamamoto said in a statement.

–IANS

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