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Pakistan rules out talks with TTP, asks Afghanistan to take action against terror outfits


Islamabad, April 4

Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch on Thursday ruled out negotiations with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and asked the Afghanistan to take immediate action against terrorist outfits operating from its soil to “destabilise” Islamabad.

During a weekly press briefing here, Baloch said, “Pakistan expected Afghan authorities to take urgent action against terrorist outfits and their leadership for the crimes they were committing and the terrorist incidents they were responsible for in Pakistan.”

“Pakistan remained committed to fighting all terrorist outfits which had targeted the country and the symbols of Pakistan-China friendship,” Baloch said.

The statement from Pakistan foreign office comes a day after Afghanistan’s interim Interior Minister Muhammad Nabi Omari called on the Pakistan government to have table talks with the TTP.

“We ask the government of Pakistan and advise the brothers (TTP) who are fighting with them to come together and talk,” said Nabi Omari during an Iftar gathering in Khost, Afghanistan.

Afghan Taliban have been calling on Pakistan to engage with the TTP, and have expressed their readiness to facilitate table talks like they did during PTI founder Imran Khan’s tenure.

In the past, Pakistan agreed to the offer and held month-long talks with TTP leadership in Kabul, resulting in an announcement of a ceasefire by the TTP, the release of many Taliban prisoners in Pakistani jails and permission for TTP fighters with Pakistan origin to return to their homes with families.

However, the previous deal helped TTP militants resettle and reorganise themselves in parts of the country in huge numbers and work towards reclaiming the areas previously under their control.

“The previous peace deal with the TTP was a huge mistake. It has resulted in thousands of TTP militants to come back to the country and reorganise. Pakistan released over 400 TTP prisoners, who were on death row because of the deal,” said senior analyst Adnan Shaukat.

“Pakistan should now be able to see why there is facilitation and support for the TTP in Afghanistan. It is their government that supports these TTP terrorists and promotes their actions in and against Pakistan. That’s why they cannot take action against them and that is why they keep asking Islamabad to have table talks with them,” he added.

But Pakistan’s policy on Afghanistan seems clear and rigid. Pakistan has decided not to have any more talks with the TTP. Despite the fact that Afghan Taliban have denied that TTP groups and militants are using Afghan soil against Pakistan, insisting that Islamabad needs to look inwards and address its internal security problems; Pakistan has carried out airstrikes in Khost and Paktika in response to death of its seven soldiers in a suicide bombing in North Waziristan in March, 2024.

Last week, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said the source of terrorism in Pakistan is in Afghanistan.

“Despite the fact that Afghan Taliban administration is well aware of the hideouts of terrorism, terrorists were operating freely against Pakistan from their territory. Cooperation from Kabul for tracking terrorism threat is not available,” Khawaja Asif had said.

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