In Greek mythology, Ekecheria was the personification of truce, armistice, and cessation of hostilities. She was honored every year at the Olympic Games when a truce was declared among the states of Greece for the duration of the Olympic Games to ensure the safety of the athletes.
In March 2011, pro-democracy demonstrations erupted in the southern Syrian city of Deraa, inspired by the "Arab Spring" in neighbouring countries. When the government used deadly force to crush the dissent, protests demanding the president's resignation erupted nationwide. The unrest spread, and the crackdown intensified. Opposition supporters took up arms, first to defend themselves and later to rid their areas of security forces. Mr. Assad vowed to crush what he called "foreign-backed terrorism". The violence rapidly escalated and the country descended into civil war.
In Indo-Pakistan relations, conflict, rivalry and hostility started immediately after their independence in 1947 with the first Indo-Pakistan war. The Kashmir issue has always been the crux of their struggle. They fought three conventional wars and faced several crises during the pre-nuclear and nuclear periods over the question of Kashmir. Both countries have been trying to find a mutually acceptable solution to the question of Kashmir issue since the time of its inception. In addition to the third-party interventions, a number of bilateral negotiations at different levels have been initiated to settle the issue.
The United States first invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Bush administration accused the country's then Taliban government of sheltering al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, who had masterminded the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden for trial, but only to a third country, rather than directly to the United States. Washington refused the offer and launched air and ground attacks, joined shortly thereafter by US allies. Although al Qaeda was quickly pushed out of Afghanistan, and the Taliban government easily removed by the end of 2001, the war dragged on.
On December 7, 1914, Pope Benedict XV suggested a temporary cessation of World War 1 for the celebration of Christmas. The warring countries refused to create any official cease-fire, but on Christmas the soldiers in the trenches declared their own unofficial truce. Starting on Christmas Eve, many German and British troops sang Christmas carols to each other across the lines, and at certain points the Allied soldiers even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing. The so-called Christmas Truce of 1914 was one of the first examples of the notion of chivalry between enemies in warfare.
In keeping with this sentiment, this past week, the Syrian army said it was observing a ‘regime of silence’, applied across all territory of the Syrian Arab Republic for 72 hours from 1am on 6 July to midnight on 8 July,” coinciding with the festival marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The truce is a symbol of the peace on Earth and goodwill toward humans, so often lacking not just on the battlefront, but in our everyday lives.
The Union government of India declared a conditional ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan. The Government expected everyone to cooperate in this initiative and help the Muslim brothers and sisters to observe Ramzan peacefully and without any difficulties. This move by a government that has often come under fire for communalistic conflicts is a reflection on a mutual respect between Hindus and Muslims in India and Pakistan.
The Taliban on Saturday announced a surprise three-day ceasefire with the Afghan government for the duration of Eid al-Fitr, the religious holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. The halt in hostilities at the end of this week comes two days after the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, announced his government’s unilateral eight-day ceasefire. Here these men are, enemy talking to enemy. Alike, soldiers on both sides with mothers, with sweethearts, with wives waiting to welcome them home again. As both sides call for peace, so they can celebrate Eid together, one would hardly have thought that they were at war.
Our assessment is that these ceasefires, however brief, serve as heartening proof that beneath the brutal clash of weapons, soldiers’ essential humanity endures. Even today, among the many conflicts that rage on in the world, these ceasefires serve as a reminder that peace is always within reach.