KABUL, July 27 (Xinhua) -- The government of Afghanistan in a bid to enable Afghans to use their franchise in the coming election in troubled areas struck ceasefire deal with Taliban insurgents in northern Badghis province, a spokesman in Presidential Palace Siamak Herawi said Monday.
Afghan forces patrol on the outskirts of Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, July 27, 2009. The government of Afghanistan in a bid to enable Afghans to use their franchise in the coming election in troubled areas struck ceasefire deal with Taliban insurgents in northern Badghis province, a spokesman in Presidential Palace Siamak Herawi said Monday. (Xinhua/Zabi Tamanna)
"The truce reached on Saturday between government and local opposition commanders with the efforts of elders and influential figures in Badghis province," Herawi told Xinhua.
The spokesman added that the truce had three clauses which include opening the offices of election commission to facilitate people to vote, resuming the work for construction of ring road in Balamirghab district and allowing administration to take on the development projects in the district under the National Solidarity Program (NSP) run by government.
This is the first time since the collapse of Taliban regime in late 2001 and resuming militancy in 2003 that ceasefire is held between government and Taliban militants formally.
"This ceasefire is a people-motivated movement for strengthening peace and holding election and we hope it would prove as a model for other areas to enable people use their franchise on Election Day," Herawi further stressed.
However, military and police officials in southwest region have ruled out any peace deal with Taliban militants in the Balamirghab district.
"We have no ceasefire with Taliban, our troops are present in Balamirghab, implementing government rule and control the situation," commander of military Corps in the region General Jalandar Shah Behnam told Xinhua.
However, Behnam admitted that the troops have evacuated from some places captured last month on the directive of Defense Ministry. Police also gave similar expression and rejected any ceasefire with militants in Balamirghab district.
"No, there is no ceasefire as police are capable enough to ensure security for the coming election," police spokesman in the region Abdul Rauf Ahmadi told Xinhua.
Several districts are said to be in the control of Taliban militants particularly in the southern region as the government launched a massive operation against Taliban in parts of Helmand province on July 2 to ensure security for the election.
Defense Ministry has announced that the security forces would restore government control in all areas held by Taliban before theelections.
Afghanistan's second presidential and provincial council election were scheduled to be held on Aug 20 amid tight security.