Islamabad: After successful dialogue that resulted in extension of ceasefire agreement between Pakistan and the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Pakistan government has successfully extended the agreement for an indefinite time.
Reliable sources confirmed that the Pak-TTP agreement has been extended for an indefinite time with mutual understanding that negotiations will continue to find an end to the ongoing militancy in the tribal border region, which has ruined the region for at least two decades.
The extension in ceasefire is a major achievement as it indicates towards positive engagements between the TTP militant groups and the Pakistani armed forces and the military establishment.
It is also important to note that the talks are being facilitated by the Afghan Taliban regime, who have been a major role players in engaging both parties and bringing them to table talks in Kabul.
Sources familiar with the development said that Afghan capital Kabul was the negotiation point for both Afghan Taliban and the Pakistani army officials along with separate detailed meeting with tribal elders of the bordering regions.
“Two sides had agreed to extend the ceasefire and continue peace talks following separate meetings with Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund, Acting Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan (IEA) at his office,” the sources confirmed.
“In his meeting with the two sides, the soft-spoken leader expressed his desire that the talks and ceasefire should be allowed to continue without any cut-off date,” the sources added.
However, no official statement has been issued by both Pakistan and the TTP as yet.
Pakistan and the TTP have been engaged in intense and extensive negotiations in Kabul where senior-level delegations from both sides have been present.
As per details, the talks, which were facilitated by the Afghan Taliban regime, were held at the Serena Hotel in Kabul.
“IEA’s Acting Minister for Interior Sirajuddin Haqqani was the central mediator, who helped to bring the talks back on track,” the source said.
In contrast to previous failed negotiations, the Pakistan government delegation expressed and demonstrated its seriousness this time, as it agreed to some of TTP demands, which would work better towards confidence building measures for formal and more structured negotiations.
“The release of prisoners and presidential pardon of two key militant commanders, including TTP Swat spokesperson Muslim Khan, was part of Pakistan’s compliance to the TTP demand,” the source said.
Demands of TTP are: Compensation for the dead and wounded, enforcement of Shariah regulations in Malakand district, withdrawal of military from the borders, reversal of FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) into Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (KP) and disbandment of TTP as an armed militant group.
As per the source, Pakistan has no problems with the TTP’s demands. However, two major issues remained challenging, the reversal of FATA merger and the disbandment of TTP as a militant group.
By Hamza Ameer