Pakistan-TTP ink deal for ceasefire

By Zoraiz Klasra

Islamabad: In a historic move, the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan has confirmed that it has signed a ceasefire agreement with TTP, a militant organization which has allegedly killed thousands of Pakistan’s security men and civilians.

Pakistan on Monday confirmed for the first time that a ceasefire has been reached with the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), with a senior minister of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet saying that talks were under way “in line with the Constitution” and the ceasefire could be extended keeping in view the progress made in the talks.

This was stated by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, according to the state-run Pakistan Television, following the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security on Monday. It was not clear if his remarks were based on the briefing at the meeting.

Also, according to a statement issued by TTP spokesman Mohammad Khurasani, the ceasefire will be effective for a month, from November 9 till December 9.

Pakistani authorities has not revealed at what condition the ceasefire has reached. Analysts said Pakistani authorities may go to any extant to keep the ceasefire for longer. Reason behind it may be to keep TTP at length from attacking Chinese engineers given that TTP had unleashed lethal attacks on Chinese nationals working on different sites of China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Pakistan may even give the TTP a chance to give up arms and participate in mainstream politics and play role in country’s progress. Pakistan has already initiated paper work to lift ban on a right wing hardliners party ‘Tehreek Labaik Pakistan ( TLP) which is accused of killing policemen in Pakistan and disturbing lives of millions of Pakistanis by holding violent demonstrations across Pakistan many times.

majority of Pakistan’s population in Pakistan have welcome the ceasefire agreement. however, opposition parties in Pakistan’s parliament have demanded the government to reveal conditions which the two sides agreed to hold ceasefire. Meanwhile, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday reiterated that there were certain groups within the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) that wanted to shun violence, saying the government too wanted to give its “citizens a chance” if they respected the law of the country and showed their allegiance to the Constitution.

The minister’s statement comes a day after he announced that a complete ceasefire had been reached between the government and the banned militant group.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad after a cabinet meeting today, Chaudhry insisted that the talks with the TTP would strictly be under the purview of the Constitution.

“There are various groups within TTP; there are [some] ideologues, while there are others who joined the organisation under compulsion. The state of Pakistan wants to give its citizens a chance if all of them, some of them or a fraction of them want to come back and show their allegiance to the Constitution of Pakistan,” the minister said.
He told the presser that the new government in Afghanistan wanted Pakistan to negotiate a deal with the TTP. “We believe the new authorities in the neighbouring country want peace in Pakistan,” he said, referring to the Taliban administration.

Chaudhry further said Pakistan looked to discourage the narrative that wars should continue “infinitely”.

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