Taliban says it ‘has no intention of declaring a ceasefire’

The Taliban has denied press reports indicating the group was on the cusp of declaring a ceasefire in Afghanistan, saying this is “false and baseless.”

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued an official statement (reproduced in full, below) denying the reports, which claimed that the group’s ruling council has approved a ceasefire, thereby opening the door for possible intra-Afghan negotiations. However, it was unclear if the reported ceasefire would include Taliban attacks against the Afghan government and security forces.

The reported ceasefire agreement was sourced to “Taliban officials familiar with the negotiations” who “spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media,” the Associated Press reported on Dec. 29.

Mujahid chastised the media for “publishing false and baseless reports about a ceasefire by the Islamic Emirate,” the name the Taliban calls its official government.

Mujahid also denied that there is a “supposed schism within the Islamic Emirate on the issue of a ceasefire.”

“The reality of the situation is that the Islamic Emirate has no intention of declaring a ceasefire,” he continued. Mujahid said the Taliban’s Rabhari Shura, which better known as the Quetta Shura, was considering “a reduction in the scale and intensity of violence,” which was requested by the U.S. negotiating team.

Since 2013, the U.S. government has been attempting to negotiate a so-called peace deal with the Taliban in order to cover its withdrawal from Afghanistan. In reality, an agreement will not result in peace in Afghanistan, but merely facilitate the evacuation of U.S. troops from the country.

The Taliban has refused to negotiate with Afghan government and has repeatedly said it will not share power with it. The Taliban’s fighters wage jihad to resurrect their Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the implementation of its harsh version of sharia, or Islamic law.

Full text of the Taliban’s response to reports of a pending ceasefire:

Clarification by spokesman of Islamic Emirate concerning propaganda about ceasefire

For the past few days, a number of media outlets have been publishing false and baseless reports about a ceasefire by the Islamic Emirate.

Propaganda by some outlets has even reached heights of supposed schism within the Islamic Emirate on the issue of a ceasefire.

The reality of the situation is that the Islamic Emirate has no intention of declaring a ceasefire. The United States has asked for a reduction in the scale and intensity of violence and discussions being held by the Islamic Emirate are revolving solely around this specific issue.

The leader of the Islamic Emirate has not yet issued a final decree and neither is there any differences within the Islamic Emirate related to this issue.

It is hoped that our compatriots pay no heed to the malicious reports being propagated by the enemy media.

Some intelligence circles are utilizing the media in an effort to generate anxiety, false optimism and sabotage the ongoing negotiations process through the dissemination of misleading information.

The Islamic Emirate will take every necessary and appropriate step that ensures the higher interests and Jihadi aspirations of our homeland in the light of Islamic Shariah in both the military and political fronts, Allah willing.

The Islamic Emirate shall keep its nation informed of any progress through its official channels.

Spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Zabihullah Mujahid

04/05/1441 Hijri Lunar

09/10/1398 Hijri Solar                   30/12/2019 Gregorian

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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