Pakistani Taliban ceasefire ends, group still open to talks

Pakistani Taliban ceasefire ends, group still open to talks

Islamabad : Pakistan | Apr 03, 2014 at 1:20 AM PDT
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A month-long ceasefire announced by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has come to an end and it will not be extended, said the TTP spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid. In a statement to media, he said that the group was willing to carry on negotiations with the government even without the ceasefire.

The spokesman also said that some of the members of the TTP shura, a decision making body, has not agreed to extend ceasefire. This may be interesting to mention here that the Pakistani government has been pursuing peace talks with the militants to restore peace and stability in the country. The government has demanded the militants to extend the ceasefire, if they are interested to continue the peace talks.

The Taliban spokesman accused the government of arresting more than 120 militants during the month who are affiliated with the group. He said the government also did not accept any of the demand of the group; therefore, some members of the shura were objecting to extension of the ceasefire. Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed his desire to continue the peace talks with the Taliban to restore peace in the country. It has been more than 8 years to the insurgency in Pakistan wherein more than 50,000 people, including women and children, have been killed. Pakistan has also suffered a huge economic loss in the ongoing war on terror.

The militants have been demanding the government that it should come out of the war of the United States and put an end to its relations with Washington. The militants believe that the US has been involved in killing of Muslims in the region. Some experts say that the Pakistani Taliban are also an affiliate of Afghan Taliban who have been struggling against the US-led coalition troops. The Afghan Taliban have been seeking support of Pakistan Taliban in carrying out attacks on the NATO forces and foreign missions in Kabul, the federal capital of Afghanistan. So, if peace is restored in Pakistan through the peace talks, then it would also be beneficial for Afghanistan where a presidential election on April 5 is going to replace President Hamid Karzai with another elected president.

The government should struggle to end deadlock in the talks with the Taliban as military operation against them is not a long term solution. On the other hand, the militants should also realize the power of the state and should not put irrational demands forward. The militants have been seeking release of women and children held in captivity of the government security forces, especially the armed forces. However, the armed forces have said that there is no no-combatant in their captivity. So, both the sides should move ahead.


StephenManual is based in New York City, New York, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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