MIRAMSHAH: A crucial meeting of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)’s shura was held at an undisclosed place in North Waziristan on Friday to decide about extending or ending the ceasefire as US drones conducted low altitude flights in parts of the tribal region.
At the beginning of peace talks with the government, the TTP announced a month-long ceasefire on March 1.
Later, it extended it for 10 days (until April 10) to give peace talks a chance. But no important development has taken place during the 10-day period.Sources said that Taliban were not satisfied with the negotiations and that some TTP commanders had reservations over what they perceived as the government’s ‘non-serious’ attitude to the dialogue. They are said to be insisting on calling off ceasefire.
Taliban have presented two conditions for further progress. The first is an immediate release of non-combatant prisoners and the second calls for declaration of a “peace zone” for talks in tribal area where militants can freely move about
The TTP thinks that the government has yet to show a positive gesture in this regard.
However, sources said, other members of the shura were in favour of extending the ceasefire for another short period. The sources are hopeful about an extension in ceasefire. As the government had not backtracked from the talks, the TTP was also willing to push forward the peace process, they opined.
Meanwhile, locals said drones kept hovering over the sky in different areas of Ghulam Khan, Dattakhel, Shawal, Miramshah, Mir Ali and Razmak tehsils on Friday. They said that the drones first appeared early in the morning and continued to operate till late in the night.
The drone flights and reports of the TTP shura meeting have created fear among the local people.