Pakistan suggests Taliban to agree on ‘unannounced ceasefire’

Islamabad: Pakistan has suggested the Taliban to agree on an “unannounced ceasefire”, days after a high-level delegation of the militant group met the country’s foreign minister as part of a push to revive the Afghan peace process, according to a media report.
The US too has endorsed the idea and indicated resuming peace talks if the Taliban were ready to give the commitment for a ceasefire in private as it can create a conducive environment to finalise a peace deal, The Express Tribune reported. The high-level delegation of the Taliban Political Commission (TPC) called on Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi earlier this month.
Taliban has said that the delegation’s visit to Pakistan was aimed at putting the peace process back on track. A senior official, on the condition of anonymity, told the newspaper that Pakistan has been pressing the Taliban to agree to a ceasefire or at least give a commitment for reducing the level of violence.
The official said that to end the stalemate, Pakistan suggested the Taliban to agree on an “unannounced ceasefire” if they had any problem in making their decision public at this stage.
The peace talks between the US and the Taliban were stalled by President Donald Trump following the killing of an American soldier in Kabul last month in a suicide attack claimed by the militant group.
Trump stunned the world when he suddenly declared that the Afghan peace talks with the Taliban were “dead” after he cancelled a secret meeting with the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David near Washington.
The Taliban has so far not given any response to the proposal. But the two sides agreed to take some confidence-building measures (CBM) before making progress on contentious issues, the report said.
The exchange of prisoners between the insurgent group and the US soon after the talks in Islamabad was part of those CBMs, the official said, referring to the release of 11 members of the Taliban in exchange of three Indian engineers earlier this month from Afghan jails. (PTI)

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