In a remarkable development in Afghanistan Peace process, Afghan Taliban on Sunday (Dec 29) has agreed to a temporary ceasefire nationwide. It provides a window during which a peace agreement with the United States could be signed.
A peace deal would pave a way for United states for troops withdrawal from Afghanistan to end its 18-year military engagement there, America’s longest. The US wants any deal to include a promise from the Taliban that Afghanistan would not use as a base by terrorist groups.
The US currently has an estimated 12,000 troops in Afghanistan. The Taliban chief must approve the agreement but that is expected. As per media reports, The duration of the ceasefire was not specified but it is being suggested it would last for 10 days. Four members of the Taliban negotiating team met for a week with the ruling council before they agreed on the brief cease fire. The negotiating team returned on Sunday to Qatar where they maintain their political office.
Those intra-Afghan negotiations are expected to be held within two weeks of the signing of a US-Taliban peace deal. They will likely decide what a post-war Afghanistan will look like, and what role the Taliban will play. The negotiations would cover a wide range of subjects, such as the rights of women, free speech and the fate of the tens of thousands of Taliban fighters, as well as the heavily armed militias belonging to Afghanistan’s warlords who have amassed wealth and power since the Taliban’s ouster.
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