• publish: 3 October 2021
  • time: 1:06 am
  • category: Politics
  • No: 18985

Pakistan Taliban declares 3-week truce after Imran talks pro

The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced a three-week ceasefire late Friday, hours after Prime Minister Imran Khan claimed his government was in talks with the terrorist outfit on the reconciliation process.

Islamabad’s talks with TTP, a conglomerate of several Pakistani terrorist outfits, has been facilitated by the Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan.
Around 6,000 TTP terrorists are said to have sanctuaries in Afghanistan’s east and west, besides the border with Pakistan.
As PM Imran has said that talks are underway with only some factions of TTP, disgruntled elements within the larger organisation are feared to have joined Daesh-Khurasan, a regional affiliate of Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria.
TTP said its ceasefire, set to end on October 21, could be extended if talks progressed further. The outfit was represented by an 11-member delegation in the dialogue with the Pakistan government, while some influential Afghan Taliban leaders and tribal elders played mediators.
A tribal elder familiar with the government’s talks effort said TTP had spelt out three conditions to Pakistan — reversing the merger of the tribal districts into Khyber Pakhtunkwa province in the northwest, permission to TTP cadres to carry weapons in the tribal areas and release of prisoners associated with Pakistani terrorist groups.
The pre-partition semi-autonomous status of Pakistan’s tribal regions had been changed after Pakistan merged them into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2018 through a constitutional amendment that required a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
Before the merger, the seven tribal agencies and six frontier regions had been directly governed by Pakistan’s federal government from Islamabad through a special set of laws called the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR), introduced during British rule in parts of India in the northwest along the border with Afghanistan.
The British had never succeeded in completely calming unrest in the region, which is why they attempted to control the population in the area through FCR, giving considerable power to local nobles so long as they were willing to meet the needs of their masters.
Tribal leaders of North Waziristan, involved with the ongoing “reconciliation” process, said talks between Islamabad and TTP started in Afghanistan about 20 days ago. The government, they said, had also been in contact with some non-TTP armed groups that had fought on the side of the Afghan Taliban against the US and its allies in Afghanistan,
Formed in December 2007, TTP trained and educated its fighters at the same religious seminaries that produced the Afghan Taliban. The outfit has carried out some of the most horrific terror attacks against Pakistanis, targeting security personnel, officials and even schoolchildren. Its former top leadership was eliminated in US drone strikes on Pakistan’s tribal districts and parts of Afghanistan.

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