PESHAWAR: The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) formally announced an “indefinite ceasefire” with the government late on Thursday night, following two days of intense talks with a grand tribal jirga in Kabul.
A statement issued by the TTP spokesman, Muhammad Khurasani, said that substantive progress had been made in talks with the grand jirga of “Pashtun nation, particularly tribal elders and ulema”.
The 57-member government-sponsored jirga left for the Afghan capital on Wednesday to continue negotiations with the TTP, mediated by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and supervised by Sirajuddin Haqqani, the acting Afghan interior minister.
A member of the jirga told Dawn there had been heated discussions between the two sides, and the sticking point was the TTP’s demand for the reversal of Fata’s merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“Overall, talks have been goods which continued till late into the night. We are hopeful”, the jirga member said from Kabul.
But sources said there was a deadlock over the merger issue and there was no breakthrough yet.
Earlier, it was reported that both sides had agreed to a request by acting Afghan Prime Minister Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund to announce indefinite ceasefire and continue the peace talks to end over two decades of bloody conflict.
Neither side had confirmed or endorsed the ceasefire, which officially ended on May 30.
Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2022