PESHAWAR: Showing keenness for the success of the ongoing peace talks with the government of Pakistan, the proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has warned ‘secular’ and nationalist groups to stop levelling allegations against the banned outfit.

In a statement issued here on Thursday, TTP said that some pro-western groups were frustrated as situation in Pakistan showed signs of improvement owing to its peace talks with the government.

“These people do not want Pakistan to be peaceful and prosperous. That’s why these groups are trying to create an impression from different platforms that Taliban are being brought to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including the merged districts, under the garb of negotiations,” said the statement.

It said that TTP had reiterated its stance on many occasions that it wanted real peace in the country. It added that TTP was neither anti-state nor was it working for anti-Pakistan powers.

Banned outfit says it’s neither anti-state nor working for anti-Pakistan powers and it doesn’t want to clash with any religious or political party

The statement said that TTP did not want to clash with any religious or political party. It warned liberal, secular and nationalist groups to refrain from making baseless propaganda and levelling allegations against it. It added that those parties, keeping under consideration its policies, should not choose the path of confrontation.

“These parties suffered losses in the past because of their wrong policies,” it claimed.

The statement did not threaten any specific nationalist or secular group for spreading baseless allegations against the proscribed outfit. Awami National Party recently highlighted the issue of extortion and resurgence of militants in the province. The party also blamed members of the provincial cabinet for paying extortion to Taliban.

TTP recently denied its involvement in extortion, amid resurgence of armed group in Swat, Dir and other parts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The outlawed group alleged that nationalist and secular groups, who were enemies of the religious values and unity of Pakistan, were spreading disinformation regarding TTP’s involvement in extortion in order to please their masters.

“We (TTP) appeal to all patriotic and Islam loving people to not to pay attention to the baseless propaganda of the atheist elements. These secular and nationalist elements are the enemies of Islam and this country. These groups do not want the supremacy of Islam,” said the statement.

A political analyst, while commenting on the TTP statement, said that the entire world was wondering as to how a particular group could fight against a state for such a long time without any substantial financial resources.

“Is it possible to continue such a long conflict against the state, without resources,” he questioned.

Commenting on the statement of the proscribed organisation, ANP provincial general secretary MPA Sardar Hussain Babak said that his party had no enmity with any group. He said that the party was following its hundred-year-old narrative that was peace, democracy and development. “Our policy is very clear, and we do politics under these guidelines,” he added.

He said that terrorism had plagued Pakhtun’s land for the last five decades and people had migrated to other parts of the country and abroad because of lawlessness. He said that terrorism affected every sector including economy, education and social values. He added that it was a known fact that ministers of PTI had been paying extortion for long time.

“Only ANP is not party to this conflict. Every Pakhtun should play his role to end this war,” said Mr Babak. He added that violence, suicide attacks and extortion had a severe effect on the society and economy.

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2022

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