ISLAMABAD, Oct 1 (Asia Free Press): Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, an umbrella organization of Pakistani militants groups, has split after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday revealed that his government is in talks with some groups for reconciliation.
Hafiz Gul Bahadar Group, a major group of Taliban, currently based in Afghanistan, has announced 20 days ceasefire with the Pakistan army starting from Oct 1st.
In an audio statement, the group commander Sadar Hayat confirmed the decision and said they issued instructions to its militants’ commanders to immediately stop its anti-state activities.
He said that their leaders are engaged in some “secret talks”, without elaborating any further.
However, soon after his statement another group of TTP, the Khorasani group rejected the announcement and said the umbrella organization has not reached any deal with the Pakistani government.
Hafiz Gul Bahadar, who along with his militants fled away to Afghanistan soon after Pakistani forces launched an operation against the militants in the Waziristan region in 2014.
Bahadar hailing to the Waziristan region which was once a stronghold of TTP and had carried out hundreds of terrorist attacks from the region against the civilians and security forces across the country.
However, most TTP militants fled away to Afghanistan and established their sanctuaries near the Pakistani border in Paktia, Paktika, Nangarhar, Kunar, and Nuristan provinces of Afghanistan.
The latest developments came after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday announced that his government is in talks with some TTP groups to lay down arms.
In an interview with Turkish broadcaster TRT World, Imran Khan said the talks are underway in Afghanistan.
“I think some of the TTP groups want to talk to our government for peace, for some reconciliation, and we are in talks with some of the groups,” Khan revealed.
He said there are many groups in the TTP and some of them want to talk and his government is talking to them.
Responding to a question if the Afghan Taliban are helping his government in this process, Khan said “yes”.
“In the sense that the talks are taking place in Afghanistan. In that sense yes,” he said.
The Pakistan premier said he does not believe in resolving issues through military operations.
“I repeat, I do not believe in military solutions. I’m anti-military solutions. So, I always believe that political dialogue is the way ahead which was the case in Afghanistan,” Khan said and hoped his government would reach a peace deal with the TTP groups.
“We are talking. We might not reach some sort of conclusion in the end, a settlement, but we are talking,” Khan added.
Last month, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the country’s foreign minister, also said that the Pakistani government would be open to giving pardons to the TTP members if they give up terrorist activities.
Pakistan has long been accusing a “nexus” of Indian and former Afghan intelligence agencies of patronizing the TTP and Baloch insurgents involved in cross-border attacks on its security forces.
The former Afghan government had denied the charges and itself accused Islamabad of patronizing the Taliban.
Last month, following the US troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover of Kabul, a delegation led by the head of Pakistan’s premier spy agency – Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) – Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed visited Kabul and met Taliban leadership.
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