TTP extends ceasefire in Pakistan as peace talks progress with Afghan Taliban mediation
In a separate statement, the Afghan Taliban, which had earlier denied the existence of the TTP in the country, released a public statement, confirming talks between the two sides in the capital Kabul
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) extended the ceasefire in Pakistan till May 30—for the second time since the peace talks began a few weeks ago in Kabul—as the negotiation between the banned group and the Pakistan military, brokered by the Afghan Taliban, saw “significant progress.”
Although both the TTP, also knowns as the Pakistan Taliban, and the Afghan Taliban confirmed the talks, the Pakistan military and the government have not yet commented on the reported ongoing peace talks, which were preceded by intense violence and attacks.
"Talks are underway between the committees of the TTP and the government of Pakistan," TTP spokesperson Muhammed Khurasani said in the statement, confirming the Afghan Taliban was mediating between the two sides.
"The committees called for a ceasefire by both sides in light of the ongoing talks. Therefore, keeping in view the demand, both sides have announced a ceasefire until May 30,” he said in the statement, reported by Dawn.
In a separate statement, the Afghan Taliban, which had earlier denied the existence of the TTP in the country, released a public statement, confirming talks between the two sides in capital Kabul
"The Islamic Emirate Afghanistan (the Afghan Taliban), in a good faith, is making efforts to take the process forward. We hope that both sides will be accommodating and show flexibility," Zabiullah Mujahid, the spokesperson of the Afghan Taliban, said in a series of tweets.
Earlier this week, a high-level Pakistan delegation led by former ISI chief, Lt. General Faiz Hameed, had reached Kabul for the peace talks. The Pakistan government, however, remains tight-lipped about the process, neither confirming nor denying the reports of the talks.
A report in Gandhara/Radio Liberty, citing a source within the Pakistan military, confirmed that “more than 100 TTP prisoners including two prominent commanders” were released as part of the negotiation.
“The Pakistani official said that Islamabad was hoping for ‘temporary relief" from the attacks as the talks with the TTP continue, though it remains to be seen if the jihadist group can be fully reconciled with the country's mainstream,” the report added.
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