Islamabad [Pakistan], June 1 (ANI): A prominent Pakistani lawmaker has raised concern about the regrouping of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) amid the ongoing negotiations between the Shehbaz Sharif government and the banned outfit.
This comes as a recent UN Security Council report warned that TTP poses a threat to Pakistan as it is focused on a long-term campaign against the Pakistani state with its several thousand fighters in Afghanistan.
TTP constitutes the largest component of foreign terrorist fighters in Afghanistan, with their number estimated to be several thousand, according to the report.
“Ex FATA is being handed over to Taliban. Their fighters are regrouping, traders are being extorted and killings have increased. Their convicted commanders get Presidential pardons. Jirgas are talking to TTP, even about undoing FATA merger. Parliament bypassed completely,” Mohsin Dawar, a Member of the National Assembly said in a tweet.
Against the backdrop of the report, a 50-member jirga of notable tribal leaders arrived in Kabul today for a peace effort between Pakistan and the proscribed terror outfit TTP.
Jirga’s role is “very important” in view of tribal traditions that are respected by both sides, former governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Shaukatullah Khan told Dawn. “We are hopeful our efforts will produce results,” he said.
Khan earlier told The News International that nothing had been agreed with the Taliban, saying he would first meet with leaders of the Pakistani Taliban. He said they would prefer the Taliban to lay down arms, return home and live peacefully in Pakistan.
Another member of the jirga, on condition of anonymity, said they would be meeting senior Taliban leaders, including the chief of the banned TTP, Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, etc, Geo News reported. (ANI)
According to the jirga members, some of the militant leaders had initially refused to participate in the peace talks with Pakistan, but the Afghan Taliban had made it clear to all the Pakistani Taliban factions that any individual or group not willing to join the negotiations would need to leave Afghanistan.
“I think there is no option for the militant factions to stay away from the peace talks with the Pakistan government. If talks with the TTP succeed, then all of them will return to Pakistan and will start a peaceful life in their respective areas,” said the jirga member. (ANI)