Free Press Journal

Pakistan Taliban divided over continuation of ceasefire


Peshawar: The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) seems split on whether or not to extend the ceasefire with one faction claiming that they will launch attacks soon while another saying a formal decision is yet to be made.

A senior member of the TTP’s political ‘Shura’ or council, Azam Tariq, today said the group has not yet made any decision regarding ceasefire adding that the Taliban wants peace process to continue.

His remarks came a day after Taliban spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid and senior commander Umar Khalid Khorasani issued a statement last evening saying the TTP has not announced an extension in the ceasefire and that there would be more attacks soon.

Khorasani claimed that the government had breached its promise during the period of ceasefire and held the state, military and political parties responsible for “the losses suffered”.

 However, Tariq said the statement regarding ceasefire does not reflect the stance of the TTP.

He said these are their personal opinions and the media would be informed about the TTP’s stance soon.

 Meanwhile, member of the Taliban committee Professor Ibrahim Khan said he and his colleagues will hold a consultation meeting to discuss the peace process.

Talking to media, Ibrahim blamed the government for a deadlock in the dialogue process.

He said the committee has informed the government of Taliban’s reservations and complaints.

A deadlock persists in the dialogue process from the government side, he alleged.

Ibrahim maintained that the Taliban’s claims are true that their men have been killed during ceasefire.

Taliban had initially demanded release of 300 to 400 prisoners, including non-combatants, and a list has been handed over to government’s negotiation team.

The month-long ceasefire announced by the Taliban had ended on March 31.

During the first-ever direct talks with government negotiators on March 26, the Taliban had agreed the ceasefire will remain in place throughout the dialogue process.

The peace talks were held to find a solution to the deadly cycle of violence that has claimed over 40,000 lives.