Defense Minister Says Ceasefire Will Extend If Taliban Respect the Truce

Tariq Shah Bahrami the Afghan Defense Minister says the government will extend the temporary ceasefire with the Taliban if the insurgent group respect the continuation of the truce.

“If Taliban respect the ceasefire announcement ordered by President Ashraf Ghani, we will extend the ceasefire. It is a matter of gratitude that the Taliban has welcomed the ceasefire announcement and will respect it,” Bahrami said Monday.

General John Nicholson the commander of the U.S.-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan called ceasefire by Afghan government and Taliban a bold and important step to produce a peace process, saying the purpose of President Trump’s South Asia policy is to achieve a reconciliation in Afghanistan.

But he warned that the Coalition forces will respond if they came under attack.

“The Coalition forces will respond in self-defense, not only of our own forces, but of the Afghan forces as well. So we will not initiate an action against them, but if we are attacked or if any of these Afghan forces are attacked, we will defend them with all of our capabilities,” he said.

According to Gen. Nicholson, there are many terrorist groups such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan which needs to be defeated.

He added that these terrorist groups are recruiting from the ranks of other terrorist groups and if the level of violence decreased, the recruiting pool of other terrorist groups will diminish as well.