Govt in talks with TTP groups for reconciliation process: PM Imran
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the government is in talks with some groups of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), seeking a reconciliation.
"There are different groups which form the TTP and some of them want to talk to our government for peace. So, we are in talks with them. It’s a reconciliation process," he said during an interview with the TRT World.
When asked if the government was asking them to lay down arms, the PM responded: "Yes, we forgive them and they become normal citizens".
The interviewer then asked why the TTP was conducting attacks on Pakistan's security forces when they were in talks with the government. To this, the premier said it was just a "spate of attacks".
"We might not reach some sort of conclusion or settlement in the end but we are talking," he added.
Responding to another query on whether the Afghan Taliban were acting as mediators between the TTP and Pakistan, the premier said: "Since the talks were taking place in Afghanistan, so in that sense, yes."
PM Imran reiterated he didn’t believe in military solutions. “I am anti-military solution, and as a politician, I believe political dialogue is the way ahead.”
He said dialogue was the only way out in the case of Afghanistan also.
Earlier in September, President Arif Alvi had suggested that the Pakistani government could consider giving an amnesty to those members of the TTP who had not remained involved in "criminal activities" and who laid down their weapons and agreed to adhere to the Pakistani Constitution.
Such an amnesty could be one of the ways to "establish peace", the president had said.
His remarks were followed by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressing similar sentiments in an interview on Sept 15. He said the government would be "open to giving" a pardon to members of the TTP if they promised not to get involved in terrorist activities and submit to the Pakistani Constitution.
"But as long as they do not come and start undertaking terrorist activities [in Pakistan]. That is our concern," the minister had emphasised.