KABUL, Afghanistan: With the Taliban shrugging off the Afghan government’s latest offers of a cease-fire and negotiations, peace seems as elusive as it has been for decades in this war-battered country.
The Taliban have been gaining more ground in their annual spring offensive, ignoring President Ashraf Ghani’s calls for talks. Hoping to end the nearly 17-year war, he had offered unprecedented incentives, including passports for insurgents and their families.
Ghani had also offered to work toward removing international sanctions against the group’s leaders and allowing the Taliban to open official headquarters in the capital, Kabul.
In June, the Taliban accepted a three-day cease-fire over the Eid al-Fitr holiday that caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, a first for the group, but rejected a subsequent government call to extend it.—AP