The top commander of American and NATO troops in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, urged Taliban narco-jihadists to accept Kabul’s offer of a ceasefire and recognition as a legitimate political group in a message marking the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
In the same vein, Tadamachi Yamamoto, the United Nations secretary general’s special representative for Afghanistan, called on the Taliban and the U.S.-backed Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), which include police and army units, “to respect this religious obligation and halt the fighting.”
Gen. Nicholson declared in a Ramadan message captured on video:
While you, the noble people of Afghanistan, practice the holy month of Ramadan with prayer, donation, devotion, and praying for peace, your National Defense and Security Forces are defending your country and fighting for peace. These brave men and women are the true heroes of your nation, who continue to sacrifice and put their lives on the line to protect you, your families, and to provide a prosperous and peaceful future for this country.
In this holy month of Ramadan, we encourage all armed Taliban to accept the offer of His Excellency, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and join in peace talks, for a better future for their children and the noble people of this great nation.
Yamamoto proclaimed in his own Ramadan message:
I sincerely hope that the observation of Ramadan will provide an opportunity for all communities in Afghanistan to come closer to each other and build bridges peacefully. In the same spirit, I would like to call parties to the conflict to respect this religious obligation and halt the fighting.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who extended an olive branch to the Taliban by offering a ceasefire and recognition as a legitimate political group in February, also urged the terrorist group to stop the fighting during Ramadan.
Khaama Press reports:
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani had earlier also urged the Taliban group and other militants to respect the Holy Month of Ramadan and refrain from violence. In a video message released on the occasion of the Holy Month of Ramadan, President Ghani said he expects that the Taliban and other armed militants do not spread chaos and instability for the worshippers during the Holy Month of Ramadan.”
The majority of Muslims follow the Ramadan tradition of abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking, having sex, and other physical needs each day, starting from before the break of dawn until sunset.
With 3,343 casualties (1,639 deaths; 1,704 injuries), last year’s Ramadan marked one of the bloodiest holy months in recent history.
According to a Breitbart News database of Ramadan fatalities, Taliban terrorists and their Haqqani Network allies were behind the deadliest attack of the holy month in 2017, killing at least 150 and wounding more than 300 in Afghanistan on May 31.
This year, high-profile jihadist groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) have refrained from issuing their official call to arms for Ramadan, the holiest month for Muslims. The beginning of Ramadan coincided with the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, a move that did prompt al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other Islamic terrorist groups to issue threats of violence and urge their supporters and members to carry out attacks.
Jihadist groups have also urged attacks on the FIFA World Cup in Russia, which will begin during Ramadan.
Muslim countries began fasting for Ramadan on Thursday.