The Eid al-Fitr is a holiday unique to the Islamic religion where Muslims worldwide celebrate the Ramadan fasting season, which runs for a month. In Afghanistan, the case is no different as even the local terrorist organization; the Taliban has announced a three-day ceasefire agreement between itself and the Afghani government forces. The action, according to its spokesperson, is to honor the solemnity of the Eid al-Fitr 2020. Whether the ceasefire would result in a longstanding commitment to peace remains to be seen.
A couple of days before the Ramadan dawn to sunset fast commenced, the Taliban has unanimously agreed not to agree to a ceasefire during the period. Now, with the ceasefire brokered between the government and the group, country people have started to heave a momentary sigh of relief. To mark the Eid al-Fitr 2020, the Afghan government ordered the release of a 1000 Taliban prisoners as a sign of goodwill. The President, Ashraf Ghani, strongly believes this should go a long way to butter up a possibility for a complete end to the decade-old war. To replicate the gesture, the armed resistance released hundreds of Afghan security forces that had been taken captive.
Normalcy has begun to return to the various provinces in Afghanistan after days of fighting. Families move around freely and go out to buy things and celebrate the Eid al-Fitr with prayers for peace. Ramadan was marked by an attack in Kunduz, a city in the northern province. Even a group of clerics that voiced their concerns over what they described as “un-Islamic acts” have been killed in a bombing of which the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility.
Afghanistan has known battle since 2001 when its government, run by a supporter of the Taliban, was ousted through US support. The extremists fight with a vision towards retaking their land and to rebuff attempts of external intervention. Unfortunately, the casualties that have resulted from this decades-long conflict have peaked. The ceasefire in progress should serve as a reminder about what tranquility feels like and why this Middle Eastern nation needs it urgently.
As the ceasefire agreement is complied with by both parties, the Taliban has come out to announce that the ceasefire does not apply to the other resistance groups in the region. Also, the ceasefire, according to the group, applies to only local security forces and insists that it will continue springing attacks on foreign troops. A member of the Afghanistan National Security Council, Javid Faisal, confirmed that the Eid al-Fitr 2020 ceasefire is a real event and stated that efforts are in place to find a permanent cure to the continuous bloodbath.
For many, especially the residents, it will be a miracle of unimaginable proportions if the ceasefire is extended for more than a few days. War has claimed the livelihood of the country and plunged it deep into poverty and international debt. With constant talks between the extremists and the western-world-backed Afghan government, one will not be taunted if they start to visualize a country devoid of conflict.