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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday announced the upcoming release of 175 Taliban narco-jihadis in an apparent gesture of goodwill towards the inclusion of Kabul in U.S.-led peace talks with the reluctant terrorist group.
The Taliban has repeatedly refused to allow Kabul to participate in the negotiations.
Ghani - Taliban - Prisoner - Release - Announcement
Ghani made the Taliban prisoner release announcement while addressing the closing ceremony of the Grand Consultative Jirga on Peace on Friday.
Made up of nearly 3,200 delegates, the traditional council, or loya jirga, met this week in Kabul to discuss the peace process.
Council - Taliban - Ceasefire - Kabul
The council concluded by urging the Taliban to engage in a ceasefire with Kabul.
According to Khaama Press (KP), Ghani called on the Taliban to declare a truce during the looming holy Muslim month of Ramadan. However, the Taliban rejected the proposal, arguing that fatally castigating infidels is exceptionally rewarded during the holiest month for Muslims.
TOLO - News - Ghani - Friday
TOLO News quoted Ghani as saying on Friday:
I am ready to implement your [the Peace Jirga delegates’] legitimate demand which is a ceasefire. I see the courage and power in the [Afghan] National Defense and Security Forces [ANDSF] lines to implement the discipline of a ceasefire. If the Taliban is ready for a ceasefire in a way, we can work on technical details of it. … We are ready to provide the ground for [the] Taliban to be part of the country’s development. It is a friendly suggestion.
Day - Zabihullah - Mujahid - Spokesman - Taliban
Later that day, Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, responded to Ghani’s comments in a statement posted on Twitter.
“As jihad is … the best of part of worship, doing it on Ramadan is rewarded more than in other months,” he wrote.
Islamists - Ramadan - Time - God - Rewards
Many Islamists believe that Ramadan is a time when God especially rewards jihad. The holy month has regularly triggered a spike in attacks by the Taliban and other terrorist groups across the...
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