Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan President
Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan President

Helmand peace team places demands before Afghan President

ANI | Updated: Jun 20, 2018 12:58 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], June 20 (ANI): A peace team from Afghanistan's Helmand province called on President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday and placed a list of demands aimed at facilitating peace in the region.
The peace team arrived in Kabul on Monday after a 38-day-long march on foot.
The peace team said there is a need for everyone in Afghanistan to work towards establishing peace through intra-Afghan talks and without the involvement of foreigners. They said this was essential to maintain a sense of honour for Afghans, Tolo News reported.
The team demanded that the government should announce a year-long ceasefire for these talks to take place in a calm environment.
Once there is peace and stability, foreign troops need to withdraw from Afghanistan, they said.
They said they will continue protesting till peace in the region is achieved.
The activists also called on the Taliban's leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada to present similar demands to the Taliban hoping to meet the group in the near future.
President Ghani responded by saying that the government is willing to call for a year-long ceasefire, if Taliban accepts the extended truce which Kabul announced on June 17.
"I have already announced a ceasefire. If Taliban accepts it, I am ready to announce a one-year ceasefire," Tolo News quoted Ghani, as saying.
The president said he is ready to talk with Taliban leader Haibatullah at a venue of his choice, but added that the latter should come and talk to me without any preconditions.
On the issue of withdrawing foreign troops from Afghanistan, President Ghani said once peace is achieved, the foreign troops would be withdrawn.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on June 16 announced an extension of the government's week-long ceasefire with the Taliban which was otherwise due to end on June 19, urging the Taliban to extend their three-day ceasefire.
This came in the backdrop of an initial truce which was observed by both sides over the Eid festival period.
The Taliban on June 9 announced a three-day ceasefire over the Eid holiday, two days after Ghani announced the ceasefire from the 27th of Ramzan (June 12) to the fifth day of Eid-ul-Fitr (June 19).
It is the first time the Taliban has agreed to a ceasefire for Eid since the US invasion in 2001. (ANI)

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