Mutasim calls for ceasefire during Eid holidays
KABUL (Pajhwok): Former veteran Taliban leader Mullah Agha Jan Mutasim on Thursday urged the Afghan government and the Taliban to stage a ceasefire during the Islamic Eidul Fitr holiday, which likely falls tomorrow.
Mutasim, a close relative of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, was finance minister during the Taliban regime.
In his traditional Eid message, Mutasim urged the Afghans to strike unity in their ranks and files and shun violence.
“If we do not embrace unity for the development of our country and continue to fight, we would lose the achievements we have gained in the past,” he said.
He said internal fights were ongoing among rebel groups in the eastern zone and the clashes had no any other achievement except fueling the war in Afghanistan.
“The ongoing clashes would continue and spread to the whole of Afghanistan until we forge unity in our ranks,” he said.
Mutasim did not name the warring groups in the east. But Taliban militants and Islamic State (IS) members have been locked in several fights in which both the sides had suffered heavy casualties.
The Taliban leader also welcomed the recent peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban and called it a positive move in achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan.
“This is a good achievement and would have positive results for the Afghan people,” he said.
Mutasim urged all the warring parties to declare a ceasefire during Eid days and soften their rules for prisoners.
He said neither side should target welfare facilities, their workers and officials because they served public interests.
Meanwhile, the United Nations special representative to Afghanistan and British ambassador to Kabul greeted the Afghan people on Eid festival.
UN’s representative to Afghanistan Nicholas Haysom wished all Afghans Eid Mubarak on behalf of the United Nations.
British ambassador Karen Pierce CMG also greeted the Afghans in a separate statement. She said, “I would like to wish the people of Afghanistan a happy Eid-ul-Fitr.”
She hoped this Eid would bring renewed concrete steps to build a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.
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