Pakistan govt releases over 100 TTP prisoners as ‘goodwill gesture’

Pakistan PM Imran Khan
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Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistan government has released more than 100 Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) prisoners as a “goodwill gesture” to reciprocate the ceasefire announced by the group earlier this month, local media reported.
The majority of the freed Pakistani Taliban prisoners were undergoing de-radicalisation and rehabilitation at the internment centres set up by the government, The Express Tribune reported citing government officials. “Most of the released inmates have not completed a six-month mandatory de-radicalisation and rehabilitation programme,” one official said. “The rest were ordinary foot soldiers.”
According to the Pakistani daily, the officials also clarified that the prisoners were not released in compliance with any demand from the TTP, which is currently engaged in negotiations with the government. “The Taliban prisoners were released as a goodwill gesture,” the official added.
Pakistan and the TTP entered into a month-long truce starting November 9. The ceasefire was the result of a series of meetings held between the Pakistani officials and the TTP representatives in Afghanistan.
The talks were brokered by the Taliban government, particularly the Haqqani network. Both sides held at least three rounds of talks–one in Kabul and the other two meetings took place in Khost.
The opposition parties have criticised the Imran Khan led-PTI government for entering into an agreement with the TTP. Earlier, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said, “No one was taken into confidence on the issue of talks with the banned TTP and no consensus was reached in this regard.”


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