Pak Taliban announce month-long ceasefire

  • Imtiaz Ahmad, Hindustan Times, Islamabad
  • Updated: Mar 02, 2014 00:28 IST

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Saturday announced a ceasefire in its war with the Pakistan government and asked all its affiliates to put a halt to all sorts of ‘Jihadi’ activities for a period of one month.

The move comes after the Nawaz Sharif government engaged with the TTP in back-channel discussions and convinced the outfit’s leadership that only such a move could avert a full scale military operation against it and restart the stalled peace dialogue.

The TTP decision was conveyed in a short statement by the group’s spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid, which was sent to the media on Saturday evening.

Shahid’s statement claimed that the government has given a nod to the demands put forward by the mediation committee representing the Taliban and it was ensured that the demands will be met. Details of the demands were not given.

The statement said “the decision has been taken in view of the appeal made by the ulema, in honour of the representative committee and for the betterment of Islam and the country.”

Shahid asked all groups affiliated with the TTP to halt activities for a month’s time. The concluding paragraph of the statement stressed the government should take the negotiations seriously.

For its part, the Sharif government has demanded that the TTP and its affiliates cease all attacks. The head negotiator from the government side, Irfan Siddiqui, claimed that the ceasefire announced by the TTP had been unconditional.

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