Since the U.S. and the Taliban agreed to a deal that American officials
applauded as a path to peace, Afghanistan has endured months of anything but.
The spring has brought bloodshed, acrimony and few signs that the Afghan
government and the Islamist militant group were any closer to reconciliation
— until Sunday. That glimmer of hope arrived with the first day of the Eid
al-Fitr holiday, commemorating the end of the holy month of Ramadan, when the
Taliban unilaterally declared a three-day cease-fire beginning Sunday.
Shortly afterward, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced that the
government had accepted the truce proposal and was initiating a process to
release up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners. The prisoner release is a "good will
gesture" carried out specifically in response to the Taliban's decision,
according to presidential spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi. Ghani's government "is
extending the offer of peace and is taking further steps to ensure success of
the peace process," Sediqqi