Taliban Sends Mixed Signals on Ceasefire Plans

Commander says no ceasefire until foreign troops leave

After reports on Thursday and again on Sunday that the Taliban’s Quetta leadership council had approved a ceasefire of either 7 or 10 days to facilitate a peace deal, other Taliban leaders are offering conflicting messages on Monday, leaving open questions of where the situation really is.

Unnamed Taliban sources were quoted in the AFP saying that they have “no ceasefire plans” at all, and calling the other claims “untrue reports.” Others were very public in confirming the Quetta Shura’s plans.

On top of claims of a definitely approved ceasefire, and no ceasefire considered, Taliban commander Mawlavi Mansoor issued his own, entirely separate statement saying that there would be no ceasefire, nor any talks until all foreign forces leave Afghanistan.

The Mansoor statement is roughly in line with suggestions a ceasefire would come with a peace deal that would see a troop pullout. On the other hand, Mansoor is known not to be at all involved in the peace process himself, beyond general support for a deal on the basis of a pullout. That means what he says isn’t necessarily set policy.

But with the Taliban so large and spread out, it’s not clear what set policy is, and while decisions from the Quetta Shura should be law for the group, spokesmen seem to be at odds over what the Shura’s position actually is.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.