KABUL - Taking selfies with Afghan soldiers and government officials over Eid-al-Fitr’s three-day ceasefire has sparked the anger of senior Afghan Taliban members.
A number of Taliban leaders said that Taliban members who took selfies during the ceasefire will be punished.
According to some Afghan officials, about 35,000 Taliban entered cities and districts over Eid and took selfies with the people and security forces.
A senior Taliban leader told Reuters that at the end of the three day ceasefire, an emergency meeting was called by Taliban leaders and all commanders were directed to take disciplinary action against those Taliban who took selfies with the people and government officials.
This comes after President Ashraf Ghani’s efforts to jump-start the peace talks with the Taliban hit another hurdle this week when the Taliban on Sunday declared their three-day ceasefire over and ordered their fighters to return to the trenches.
However, despite the Taliban’s decision, government is still confident that the peace talks can be restarted.
On Monday, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) said as Taliban left the cities after Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations, many stayed behind and are likely to join the peace process.
This came after Ghani’s unilateral ceasefire was widely hailed by both Afghans and the international community. Following Ghani’s ceasefire announcement, the Taliban followed suit, but instead ordered just a three-day truce.
Afghan politicians are confident that the initiative could lead to the resumption of the stalled peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
Thousands of Taliban members entered cities, towns and villages across the country where they celebrated Eid with residents and security forces over the weekend. By Sunday evening most had left and returned to their strongholds.
But despite the euphoria experienced across the country, questions have been raised as to what happens to those Taliban members who have stayed in the cities.
The three-day ceasefire was however respected by both security forces and the Taliban but where government on Sunday extended its orders for another 10 days, the Taliban ordered its fighters to return to the trenches and resume the war.