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Pakistan

Ceasefire agreed between govt, TTP: Fawad Chaudhry

  • Information Minister says 'Afghan authorities played role of facilitator' in talks
Updated 08 Nov, 2021

Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said on Monday that a complete ceasefire agreement has been reached between the government and the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Aaj News reported.

The minister added that talks with the TTP were taking place within the ambit of the Constitution, and that Afghan authorities facilitated the discussions.

“No government can negotiate outside Pakistan’s constitution and laws,” said Fawad, while giving a media briefing on Pakistan’s ongoing talks with the TTP.

"The talks will focus on state sovereignty, national security, peace, social and economic stability in the areas concerned," he said.

Fawad added that the interim Afghan government had facilitated the negotiations.

Govt in talks with some TTP groups for reconciliation: PM Imran

"The affected people of the concerned areas will not be ignored in these talks. They will be taken into confidence,” the minister said.

“This is a positive development as Pakistan’s affected areas are moving towards peace after a long time,” he added.

Last month, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that the government was in talks with some factions of the TTP that were looking at peace and reconciliation with the country.

Talks with TTP, Afghan situation: Military officials to brief MPs on Monday

In an interview with TRT World in Islamabad, the premier said that some of the groups actually want to talk to the government for reconciliation.

When asked by the interviewer if the government is in talks with the TTP, the PM said: “Yes, with some of them.

"There are different groups that form the TTP and some of them want to talk to our government for peace. So, we are in talks with them. It’s a reconciliation process," he said.

When asked if the government was negotiating with some of those TTP groups to lay down their arms, the premier responded: "Yes, and then we forgive them and they become normal citizens.

To a question whether Afghan Taliban were playing a role in the ongoing talks between the Pakistani government and the TTP, Khan said: “They are in a sense that talks are taking place in Afghanistan.

"In that sense, yes.”

Earlier, President Arif Alvi also hinted at a conditional amnesty for members of the TTP provided they were not involved in any criminal activity and that they surrendered their arms and accepted the Constitution of Pakistan.

However, the president emphasised that the TTP still posed a threat to Pakistan.

Sharing a similar view, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also said that the Pakistani government would be "open to giving" a pardon to members of the TTP if they promise not to get involved in terrorist activities and submit to the Pakistani Constitution.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Saturday that TTP has demanded that the government release a number of prisoners as a condition for talks aimed at laying the ground for full ceasefire negotiations.

The TTP has had two rounds of preliminary talks, facilitated by the Afghan Taliban, a commander based in the Afghan province of Kunar said.

TTP spokesman Muhammad Khurasani said in a text message the group had “never refused meaningful talks” but that there were no developments on the ground yet.

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