TTP says no breakthrough in talks with Pak General

Jun 29, 2022 01:02 PM IST

Former Director-General of ISI and Core Commander Peshawar (Gen) Faiz Hameed, who played a major role in the ouster of West-backed Afghan government, has been representing the Pakistan government for the peace talks.

The chief of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has said there won’t be a dissolution of or surrender by the group even if the peace talks with the Pakistan government succeeds. The anti-Pakistan insurgent group has been holding secret peace talks with Pakistan military officials in Kabul after months of intense fighting. In a video released by TTP, its chief, Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, who has been leading the peace talks for the group, revealed that former Director-General of ISI and Core Commander Peshawar (Gen) Faiz Hameed has been representing the Pakistan government.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud.

This comes amid claims by Pakistani lawmakers that they were unaware when the negotiations began and between whom were they taking place. Last week, a Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) member said a negotiation session with the TTP took place at the PM's Office in which representatives of some political parties were present.

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Mehsud further asserted that TTP won’t back down from its demand for reversal of the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with neighbouring province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“Our demands are clear and especially the end of FATA merger (into KP) is our primary demand, which we cannot back down from,” he said.

The TTP emir also said that the Afghan Taliban is not merely a facilitator of the peace talks but also a mediator.

“The negotiations are underway under the mediation of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Taliban is not just a facilitator or host. No significant progress has been made so far, but of the government of Pakistan showed seriousness, further progress is expected,” he said.

While Mehsud didn’t explicitly acknowledged that the Pakistani government has been asking its fighters to surrender, he said negotiations “brings out different demands” and “the demands that undermine the credibility and status of the TTP are unacceptable to us.”

It is a fact, he said, that some of the TTP prisoners have been released but the arrest of its fighters is also underway at the same time.

He warned that “this non-serious attitude of theirs can affect the negotiation process.”

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    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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