A spokesman for the Afghan government’s negotiating team in Doha said the armed group’s offer was in “high demand”.
The Taliban have offered a three-month ceasefire in exchange for the release of thousands of detained fighters in prisons, one of the Afghan government’s top negotiators said on Thursday as the armed group seized control of a country. key border with Pakistan.
Nader Nadery, the spokesman for the Afghan government’s negotiating team in the Qatari capital Doha, said it was a “big demand”. Peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan leadership in Doha have been stalled for months.
“The Taliban have offered a three-month ceasefire plan, but in return have called for the release of 7,000 of their prisoners and the removal of their leaders from the UN blacklist,” he said. to journalists in Kabul.
Last year, the Afghan government released about 5,000 Taliban prisoners as part of an exchange that helped start peace talks in Qatar. The measures were agreed upon as part of the agreement between the Taliban and the US, which also called for the withdrawal of US forces from the country.
A Taliban spokesman said he was only aware of the suggestion of a ceasefire during the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday.
The Taliban are waging a relentless campaign in Afghanistan with U.S. and NATO troops almost out of the country, leaving Afghan forces facing a crisis.
Fighters from the group on Wednesday captured the Spin Boldak-Chaman border crossing, the second-largest border crossing with Pakistan and a major source of revenue for the government with support to the west in Kabul.
The Afghan armed group has also captured border crossings with Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in recent weeks. The group has maintained an armed rebellion since it was ousted from power in a 2001 U.S.-led invasion.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday that the Afghan side of the Chaman border crossing was in the hands of the Taliban. The move caused Pakistan to close the side of the border.
“An undisciplined crowd of about 400 people tried to force their way through the door. They threw stones, which forced us to use tear gas,” said a Pakistani side security official, who asked that he not be appointed. , and added that the situation was put “under control” later.
He said about 1,500 people had gathered at the border on Wednesday waiting to cross.
The crossing provides direct access to the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, where the Taliban’s top leadership has been based for decades.
According to reports from Kamal Hyder, of Al Jazeera, Peshawar, Pakistan, the “taking of Spin Boldak was a surprise.”
“A humanitarian crisis was beginning to unfold,” Hyder said.
“Tens of thousands of people [were] stuck on both sides. This is a very busy border, given the fact that most medical emergencies from Afghanistan cross Pakistan because there are better medical centers here, and also the fact that many families [were going to cross] to meet their relatives because Eid Holidays was approaching ”.
On Thursday, the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistani government agreed to reopen the border crossing to allow stranded people to cross.
‘Stop the fire to consolidate power’
Islamabad announced on Thursday that it had invited several “Afghan leaders” to a peace conference over the weekend, but an aide to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani told local media that his government had called for it to be postponed, and politicians they were already heading to Qatar.
Muska Dastageer, a professor at the American University of Afghanistan, said any Taliban ceasefire offer was probably an attempt to consolidate the positions they have won so quickly in recent weeks.
“A ceasefire would now effectively ban (Afghan forces) from reclaiming the crucial border points that the Taliban have recently captured,” he tweeted.
“I think the timing of this ceasefire offer has more to do with his desire to consolidate power over these areas.”