Afghan President Ghani announces ceasefire with Taleban until June 20

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced the ceasefire to coincide with the end of the Muslim fasting season.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced the ceasefire to coincide with the end of the Muslim fasting season.PHOTO: AFP

KABUL (REUTERS) - Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday (June 7) announced a ceasefire with Taleban insurgents until June 20, coinciding with the end of the Muslim fasting season, but said fighting against other militant groups, such as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), would continue.

The Taleban are seeking to reimpose strict Islamic law after their ouster in 2001 at the hands of US-led troops.

"This ceasefire is an opportunity for the Taleban to introspect (sic) that their violent campaign is not winning them hearts and minds, but further alienating (people)," Mr Ghani said in a message on social network Twitter after a televised address.

"With the ceasefire announcement, we epitomise the strength of the Afghan government and the will of the people for a peaceful resolution to the Afghan conflict."

Mr Ghani in February offered recognition of the Taleban as a legitimate political group in a proposed political process that he said could lead to talks to end more than 16 years of war.

Mr Ghani proposed a ceasefire and a release of prisoners among a range of options, including new elections involving the militants and a constitutional review in a pact with the Taleban to end a conflict that last year alone killed or wounded more than 10,000 Afghan civilians.