KABUL (Pajhwok): Last week, 366 civilians were killed and wounded in violent incidents despite a three-day Eid-ul-Fitr ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Sixteen percent of civilian casualties happened during the ceasefire.
- Afghan government and Taliban observed three days of Eid-ul-Fitr ceasefire last week
- At national and international levels, ceasefire extension was requested, but Taliban refused
- Ghani termed political agreement with Pakistan vital for peace in Afghanistan
- President Ghani said if peace is guaranteed, Taliban prisoners could be freed
- Before creation of transitional government, foreign troops pullout not responsible one: Hekmatyar
- If Taliban failed to get advantage of available peace opportunity people will resist them: Jamiat and Junbish Parties
- Last week casualties were six times higher compared to the previous week
Eid ceasefire, attacks and casualties
The US, UNAMA, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Afghan government, High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) and permanent committee of 72 political parties asked the Taliban to extend ceasefire but the Taliban rejected the demand and said they had no plan to extend the ceasefire beyond three days of Eid-ul-Fitr.
But despite the ceasefire, 21 violent attacks recorded in 11 provinces — Kabul, Zabul, Parwan, Kundoz, Kandahar, Logar, Nangarhar, Khost, Herat, Paktia and Uruzgan — in which 112 civilians were killed and 254 others injured.
Among these attacks claimed by no side, the deadliest was the Kabul’s Syed-ul-Shuhada School bombing in which 63 people were killed and 150 injured. Some sources reported 85 people were killed in the attack.
Blast, casualties during ceasefire:
Pajhwok finding showed 16 percent of last week civilian casualties recorded during three days of ceasefire.
There were no report of clashes between Afghan security forces and the Taliban, but on the first day of Eid, nine people were killed and 14 others injured in Kabul, Kandahar and Kunduz provinces. On the second day of Eid, 12 people including prayer leader were killed and around 20 others injured as a result of a blast inside a mosque when worshipers were offering Friday prayers.
One person was killed and two others injured in a blast in the Sarobi district of Kabul on day three of Eid. No group claimed responsibility for these attacks while the government and the Taliban also not commented on last week civilian casualties.
In these attacks, security forces and the Taliban also suffered casualties but Pajhwok did not publish the figures because enough information with authentic sources was not available to support their casualty figures.
Besides heavy fighting, efforts for peace in Afghanistan on national and international levels continued.
International community put pressure on Pakistan: Mohib
Pakistani officials’ visited Afghanistan under pressures from the international community, according to Afghan National Security Advisor HamdullahMohib.
Ahead of Pakistani top military officials’ trip to Kabul, Mohib had said that pressure on Pakistan had intensified to stop supporting militant groups. A high level Pakistani delegation would travel to Kabul in this regard, he had said.
US Chief Negotiator ZalmayKhalilzad again recently asked the conflicting sides to reduce violence and reconcile.
UK Chief of Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter during his trip to Kabul said after the pullout of foreign forces from Afghanistan the Taliban have no reason to continue fighting and they should stop fighting. The Europeon Union also called on Afghans to unite and demanded a halt to the ongoing fighting.
Positive reports on peace process:
Besides global efforts for peace, Afghan and the Taliban negotiating teams also held talks in Doha after three months of break. Both sides stressed over acceleration of peace talks and broke the stalemate that lasted three months
Last week, President Ghani said he would free 7,000 Taliban prisoners if peace is guaranteed.
The Taliban supremo during his Eid message stressed the need for the resolution of the conflict through talks and asked his opposition to stop fighting and show compliance to every article of Doha Agreement.
Political Parties views on Peace:
GulbuddinHekmatyar, leader of the Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan, last week said withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan before the arrangement of a transitional government in the country is an irresponsible move.
Junbish Party Head Marshal Dostum and Jamiat Party Head Atta Mohammad Noor warned the Taliban of resistance if they reject reconciliation.
In Paktia, some residents in a gathering said the root cause of economic and some other problems in Afghanistan was the conflict and public life will not improve until there is a permanent ceasefire.