Reduction of violence not practical: Ghani’s spokesman

KABUL (TOLO News): With a Taliban response to recent discussions about a ceasefire and reduction of violence still pending, the Afghan government on Sunday insisted on a ceasefire and said that a reduction of violence – which the Taliban has apparently agreed to – is not practical.

“A ceasefire is the Afghan government’s plan for beginning peace negotiations,” presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said, adding “reduction of violence does not have an accurate meaning in legal and military terms, and it is not practical.”

“By ceasefire, we mean a ceasefire like the one established in the country two years ago, during the Eid days–it had a clear definition,” Sediqqi said in a tweet.

He added that a ceasefire has an international precedent.

“For us, ensuring peace means the end of the war,” Siddiqi tweeted, saying: “there is a need for clarity on recommended plans.”

Sources have said that the US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been in Qatar over the past week and has held an informal meeting with Taliban deputy leader Abdul Ghani Baradar.