Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, October 18th, 2018

ANSF in Defensive Mode as Ceasefire Kicks in

ANSF in Defensive Mode as Ceasefire Kicks in

KABUL - Government’s ceasefire comes into effect following a sharp rise in violence across the country in the past two months. 
As government’s ceasefire with the Taliban comes into effect, Afghanistan’s National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) are in a defensive position opposed to being on the offensive.
President Ashraf Ghani’s ceasefire officially came into effect on Monday midnight – three days ahead of Eid-al-Fitr.
Security officials meanwhile said government forces across the country are now on red alert. However, they will retaliate with full force in the event of coming under attack.
The Taliban also announced a ceasefire – for the first three days of Eid. However, government’s ceasefire runs for eight days from Tuesday.
The Taliban’s announcement has meanwhile brought renewed hope for the resumption of the stalled peace process between the Afghan government and the militants.
On Tuesday, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) called on all parties in the conflict to end the ongoing violence and instead engage in peace talks.
General Baba Jan, the commander of the first brigade of 20 Pamir Army Division in Kunduz said earlier in the day: “We will comply with the order and I have asked my soldiers to abide by it; if the enemy tries to disrupt the security of the people in Kunduz, they will be met with strong retaliation.”
Another Afghan National Army (ANA) officer in Kunduz said: “We are implementing the order and respect the truce; if the enemy attacks us, then we are prepared to deal with any situation.”
Even troops in Ghazni have said they will observe the ceasefire.
“We are following the direction, if the enemy is seen in any kind of activity in Ghazni, we will stand against them,” said Ghazni police chief Fareed Mashal.
“We are fully ready to defend Ghazni,” said an Afghan army officer in the province. 
“Government institutions shouldn’t be targeted, we want peace with justice,” said AIHRC spokesman Bilal Sediqqi.
Government’s ceasefire came into effect at 12.01am on Tuesday.
Earlier Monday, Taliban freed at least 13 government forces in the southern province of Helmand.
“Last night direction was given to all regions to respect the ceasefire, however forces were asked to defend if they were attacked,” said MoI spokemsna Najib Danish.
President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday announced a ceasefire with the Taliban after a religious scholars meeting in Kabul last Monday where they issued a fatwa against the ongoing war in the country.
“The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan announces a ceasefire from the 27th of Ramadan until the fifth day of Eid-ul-Fitr following the historic ruling (Fatwa) of the Afghan Ulema," said Ghani.
The Taliban on Saturday issued a statement saying it had ordered its fighters not to clash with Afghan security forces for the first three days of Eid.
Taliban’s ceasefire, however, does not include the foreign forces.  (Tolo news)