In order to curb terror attacks, Pakistani officials reach an agreement with the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Both sides held face-to-face talks in order to achieve an understanding for peace.
According to sources, TTP will declare a countrywide truce. However, the truce will come into effect once Pakistan releases some TTP foot soldiers as part of confidence-building measures. While the number of TTP soldiers in Pakistan’s custody is unclear, sources suggest that around two dozen will be released.
Currently, the parties agreed to a month-long truce. The truce will extend depending on the release of prisoners.
Moreover, the new Taliban government in Afghanistan on multiple occasions assured Pakistan that it will not allow TTP to use its soil against Pakistan. As a result, the Taliban is playing a mediating role in the ceasefire agreement between Pakistan and TTP. Sources claimed that the Interior Minister of Afghanistan’s Taliban regime, Sirajuddin Haqqani brought the two sides together for talks.
The talks come as Pakistan pins hope on the Taliban government to put pressure on TTP. Ever since the Taliban took over, the PTI government appears hopeful as with the Taliban’s help, terrorism can end in Pakistan.
Last month, PM Khan revealed in an interview with a Turkish news channel that the government is in talks with TTP. He also offered amnesty to TTP members willing to surrender and live like ordinary citizens.
Government officials claimed that many TTP foot soldiers want to avail the amnesty offer. They are tired of fighting and living in exile.
TTP denies reports of ceasefire
Interestingly, after PM Khan’s interview, TTP announced a 20-day cease-fire with the Pakistan Army.
In an audio message released to the journalists, Saddar Hayat, a senior commander of the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group, one of the two key groups within the TTP, can be heard directing his deputies to suspend “all kind of operations” against the government forces, mainly in the restive North Waziristan tribal region, until Oct. 20.
He urged militant commanders to “stay within their (respective) areas” but desist from carrying out any operations until further orders.
Minutes after the announcement, the Hakeemullah Mehsud group rejected the cease-fire, asking its members to continue their operations against Pakistani forces.
In a statement, Mohammad Khurasani, a purported TTP spokesman, said the militant consortium had no “groupings” and denied that it had “announced any cease-fire anywhere.”
This time around, TTP has not made any announcements on the recent ceasefire agreement. However, sources claim that they are underway.