A shopkeeper arranges clothes ahead of Eid al-Fitr festival, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 23, 2020. (Xinhua/Rahmatullah Alizadah)
Afghans marked Eid al-Fitr festival by attending prayers amid peace as the Taliban outfit and government security forces observed a three-day ceasefire, starting from Sunday.
The three-day Eid al-Fitr is to be observed on Sunday to mark the end of Muslims' fasting month of Ramadan.
Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani attended in Eid prayers together with senior officials and cabinet members in a mosque in Presidential Palace earlier on Sunday.
"I congratulate Eid al-Fitr to all my fellow Afghans and Muslims around the world," Ghani said after offering the prayer, broadcast live by the state-run TV.
President Ghani welcomed Taliban's announcement of observing a ceasefire during the Eid days.
In his short speech, the Afghan leader added that "we request the Taliban not to harm people of Afghanistan. As the majority of religious scholars are in the view that the current war in Afghanistan has no legitimacy anymore. Today the war has not legitimacy, I assure the Taliban and the people that the negotiation team of the government is ready to instantly conduct peace talks and negotiations."
Ghani added that as commander in chief he has instructed Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) to comply with the three-day truce and to defend only if attacked.
On Saturday, the Afghan gov't urged citizens to respect lockdown during Eid al-Fitr days in big cities and towns, warning that the recent neglect of restrictions in the capital city Kabul had been a main factor for the increase of new coronavirus cases in the city.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)