Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistani officials have reached a “tentative understanding” with the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to seek a “peace agreement” following nearly two decades of militancy.
Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported that this truce has come after direct talks between the two sides in Afghanistan’s south-western Khost province for nearly two weeks.
These “face-to-face” talks had resulted in a tentative understanding to declare a countrywide truce, conditional to the release of some TTP foot soldiers as part of confidence-building measures, according to Pakistani publication.
The acting interior minister in the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan, Sirajuddin Haqqani is reportedly playing a role of a mediator between Pakistan and the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to reach a “broader” “peace agreement” to bring an end to the two-decades of militancy in Pakistan.
Even though an understanding has been reached between the two sides, it is not yet clear who on the Pakistan side is negotiating with the TTP.
The understanding includes the declaration of a nationwide truce and the release of some TTP terrorists based on certain conditions, as part of confidence-building measures.
The number of terrorists who are to be released was not clear, however, the newspaper reported citing the sources that the number of such terrorists would not be more than two dozen.
“These are foot soldiers (terrorists), not senior or mid-level commanders. We are testing the ground. We are cautious. The truce will come into effect once the prisoners are released,” Dawn quoted the sources as saying.
“Talks are being held directly between senior officers and senior TTP leadership. The TTP includes all groups without exception. There are several proposals on the table and both sides are working to hammer out a workable solution,” Dawn quoted the source as saying.
The strong resurgence of Pakistani Taliban’s terror activities soon after the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan is raising new concerns about Pakistan’s overall stability, including the security of its nuclear arsenal, said a Canada-based think tank.
Pakistan’s efforts to pressurise the Taliban to ensure that the TTP is not allowed any sanctuary in Afghanistan, have failed to yield any visible results, according to International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS).
In recent times, the Pakistani Taliban has carried out multiple attacks in Pakistan.
A ceasefire between Pakistan’s government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced on October 1 has fallen apart in days as fears rise about the al Qaeda-linked group’s true agenda, the think tank said. (ANI)