Taliban mediating talks between Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Taliban, Islamabad: Report

WION Web Team
Kabul, Afghanistan Published: Nov 08, 2021, 01:06 PM(IST)

Taliban bans TV shows featuring women actors Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The chief of the Haqqani network, the Islamic Emirate's acting interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, is thought to have played the role of mediator

Even before the Afghan Taliban arrived at the gates of Kabul, Pakistan started discussions with the government-in-waiting to deal with militant outfits such as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Baloch groups operating out of the neighbouring country.

In their interactions with the Taliban leadership, Pakistani officials made it clear that all these groups must not only be denied operating space but also face military action.

According to reports, the Taliban is now mediating talks between the banned outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Pakistan government. 

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The chief of the Haqqani network, the Islamic Emirate's acting interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, is thought to have played the role of mediator. 

Although the Islamic Emirate declined to confirm the reports, it said it would play its part. 

"The stance of the Islamic Emirate is that it will act in a role to resolve problems that are important," said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate. 

Despite the absence of an official confirmation, reports suggest that the TTP agreed to announce a ceasefire for a month in exchange for the release of dozens of the group's prisoners.

Also read | Pakistan Taliban want prisoners released before ceasefire talks

However, there are differing views regarding whether mediation of talks would serve Afghanistan's interests. TTP previously demanded the release of its prisoners as a pre-condition for a ceasefire. 

The Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan, Mansoor Ahmed Khan, said he could neither confirm nor deny reports of talks between Pakistan and the TTP. He added that engaging with the TTP or its affiliates should be seen in the context of Pakistan and the Taliban government's counter-terrorism efforts and the strategy they agreed on.

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According to the leader of the National Solidarity Movement, Sayed Ishaq Gailani, the Islamic Emirate considers the ongoing negotiations to be an achievement.

"If Sirajuddin Haqqani facilitated the negotiations, it is an honour for the people of Afghanistan," he said. 

TTP has been active in several parts of Pakistan since 2007. 

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