Gul Bahadur-led Taliban group declares 40-day truce for Ramzan
A powerful Taliban faction in Pakistan's tribal belt has declared a 40-day unilateral ceasefire for the holy month of Ramzan and asked its fighters to stop attacks on security forces and government facilities.world Updated: Aug 23, 2009 14:24 IST
A powerful Taliban faction in Pakistan's tribal belt has declared a 40-day unilateral ceasefire for the holy month of Ramzan and asked its fighters to stop attacks on security forces and government facilities.
The truce was announced by the North Waziristan-based militant faction led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur on Sunday.
Ahmadullah Ahmadi, a spokesman for Gul Bahadur, told reporters on phone that the group's shura or council had decided on a complete ceasefire in the volatile region during Ramzan, which began on Sunday.
Ahmadi said the ceasefire will continue for 10 days after the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the culmination of the month of fasting and prayers. He said the decision was made to provide a peaceful environment so that the tribes people of North Waziristan could focus on worship.
The people are also facing hardship due to fighting between security forces and the Taliban, he added.
Gul Bahadur has strictly forbidden his commanders from attacking security forces and government installations during the ceasefire.
Instead, he has asked them to play a role for restoring permanent peace in the tribal region, Ahmadi said.
Gul Bahadur scrapped a peace deal with the government on June 29 last year to protest its "silence" on frequent US drone attacks in the region that have killed innocent people, including women and children.