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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Pakistan-TTP peace talks spark debate

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By Hamza Ameer
Islamabad, June 10 (Ajit Weekly News) The recent announcement of the extension of a ceasefire by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for an indefinite time with Islamabad agreeing to release senior Taliban commanders is being received as a major blow, disappointment and anger by families of those victims, who lost their lives in various terror attacks by the outlawed group.

The reports of release of all TTP prisoners from Pakistani jails, list of which was provided by the TTP to the Pakistani authorities, has angered among the families of the innocent victims of the terror attacks on Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar on December 16, 2014, in which Taliban terrorists killed at least 149, among which at least 132 school children including teachers and others in one of Pakistan’s most horrific terror attacks in history.

They say negotiating and meeting demands of the terrorists is like rubbing salt on their wounds.

“This is like rubbing sale into our wounds. This is like laughing at the sacrifices and martyrdom of innocent victims of terrorist attacks,” said Fazak Khan, whose eight-year-old son Sahibzada was killed during the APS terrorist attack.

Pakistan is in negotiations with the TTP for weeks as both sides have put forward their demands to barter a peace deal and ensure that the terror group stops its ongoing terror attacks in the country.

The talks are being facilitated and mediated by the Afghan Taliban and are being held in Kabul.

As per details, TTP has put forward many demands to the Pakistani side, some of which have already been accepted and implemented.

One of those demands was the release of over 100 of TTP senior and important fighters/commanders. As per reliable sources, that demand has already been accepted and almost all of the listed TTP members have been released.

“TTP gave a list of 102 of its militants to be released from Pakistani jails. Almost all of them have been released by the Pakistani authorities,” said a reliable source with inside knowledge of the negotiations.

“A presidential pardon was also required for some of the TTP militants on death row. That has also been done,” he added.

Afghan Taliban say they would continue to mediate talks between the Pakistani government and the TTP as part of its policy of supporting security and stability in the region.

“Based on its main and permanent policy of supporting security and stability in the region, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has continued to mediate between the Pakistani government and the TTP and is still continuing its efforts and hopes for good results,” said Inamullah Samangani, a spokesperson for the Taliban-led IEA government.

However, analysts believe that meeting TTP demands, which include withdrawal of security forces from the tribal belt and reversing decision to merge the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, coupled with imposition of a Shariah law in the tribal areas and districts, is something that will be a difficult challenging task ahead if the ongoing talks are to succeed.

–Ajit Weekly News

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