Afghan Government Hopes to Extend Ceasefire With Taliban

Spokesman: Ceasefire not over just because fighting has resumed

After a very productive three-day ceasefire in Afghanistan last weekend, the Afghan government is going into this weekend urging for an extension of the ceasefire for the sake of the peace process, and with some officials arguing that they consider the ceasefire to still be in effect despite all the fighting.

Though there has been some fighting in a few provinces since the initial 3-day ceasefire ended, violence is still down to a relatively low level. This seems to be complicating attempts to convince them to extend the process.

Arguments that the ceasefire is still in place despite no agreement to extend it are problematic, not the least of which because Afghan officials are accusing them of”violating” the ceasefire that they wish was in place, which is likely not a good strategy to get that extension in place.

The Taliban is still hoping to get more prisoners released, and that’s almost certainly the key to selling them on further ceasefire and negotiations. They’ve long seen this as a test for the Ghani government’s sincerity, since when they want to make progress they give them prisoner releases, and at other times they delay it until things grind to a halt.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.