Taliban offer three-month ceasefire in return for prisoner release – Times of India

KABUL: The Taliban have provided a three-month ceasefire in change for the release of 7,000 rebel prisoners, an Afghan authorities negotiator stated Thursday, because the militant group continues a sweeping offensive throughout the nation.
“It is a big demand,” stated Nader Nadery, a key member of the federal government workforce concerned in peace talks with the Taliban, including the insurgents additionally demanded the removing of their leaders’ names from a United Nations blacklist.
It was not instantly clear how the federal government would react to the ceasefire offer, which comes because the United States accelerates the tempo of a troop withdrawal as a result of be completed by August 31.
Nadery’s revelation got here as Pakistan safety forces used tear gasoline Thursday to disperse tons of of individuals who tried to drive their means throughout the border from Chaman to Spin Boldak in Afghanistan.
The border was closed Wednesday by Pakistan officers after the Taliban seized Spin Boldak and raised rebel flags above the city.
“An unruly mob of about 400 people tried to cross the gate forcefully. They threw stones, which forced us to use tear gas,” stated a safety official on the Pakistan facet.
He stated round 1,500 folks had gathered on the border Wednesday ready to cross.
Jumadad Khan, a senior authorities official in Chaman, stated the state of affairs was now “under control”.
An Afghan Taliban supply instructed AFP that tons of of folks had additionally gathered on the Afghan facet, hoping to journey in the opposite course.
“We are talking to Pakistani authorities. A formal meeting to open the border is scheduled for today, and hopefully, it will open in a day or two,” he stated.
The crossing supplies direct entry to Pakistan’s Balochistan province — the place the Taliban’s high management has been based mostly for many years — together with an unknown quantity of reserve fighters who frequently enter Afghanistan to assist bolster their ranks.
A significant freeway main from the border connects to Pakistan’s business capital Karachi and its sprawling port on the Arabian Sea, which is taken into account a linchpin for Afghanistan’s billion-greenback heroin commerce that has offered a vital supply of income for the Taliban’s struggle chest over time.
Spin Boldak was the most recent in a string of border crossings and dry ports seized by the insurgents in latest weeks as they give the impression of being to choke off revenues a lot-wanted by Kabul whereas additionally filling their very own coffers.
“The bazaar is closed and traders are scared that the situation will turn bad,” Mohammad Rasoul, a dealer in Spin Boldak, instructed AFP by cellphone.
“They fear that their products will be looted. There are scores of opportunists waiting to loot.”
Muska Dastageer, a lecturer on the American University of Afghanistan, stated the Taliban ceasefire offer was a probable try by them to consolidate the positions they’ve gained so swiftly in latest weeks.
“A ceasefire now would effectively prohibit ANDSF from retaking the crucial border points which Taliban have captured recently,” she tweeted, referring to Afghan forces.
“I think the timing of this ceasefire offer has more to do with their wish to consolidate power over these areas.”
At least one Kabul resident stated the Taliban couldn’t be trusted.
“Last year the government released 5,000 Taliban prisoners but their release did not bring peace,” Ahmad Jawed instructed AFP.
“Instead most of them are now fighting government forces.
“Now they’re asking for 7,000 prisoners to be launched. That is an enormous quantity.”
Authorities last year released more than 5,000 Taliban prisoners to help kick start peace talks in Doha, but negotiations have so far failed to reach any political settlement, and the latest offensives suggest the insurgents are now set on a military victory.

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