Voice of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Thursday, December 1, 2022

JAWAD YOUSAFZAI

The negotiations between government of Pakistan and Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) for peace are in progress mediated by a 50-member tribal Jirga and Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan (IEA). So far, a number of meetings held resulting in ceasefire.

   Some positive developments have been observed during multiple rounds of talks that include an infinite ceasefire between the two as long as talks are in progress besides freeing of certain TTP prisoners by the government.

Besides recently, the Federal Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb in a press briefing officially announced that talks with TTP, are being held with government approval and the latter is onboard.

    Despite these positive developments, some analysts are skeptical about the lasting peace and results of these fresh talks with the militants. These analysts once again are predicting failure pre-maturely.

      Given the record of talks in the past, it is true that negotiations with TTP from Baitullah to Noor Wali Mahsud did not bear any positive outcomes and mostly failed, both sides accusing each other of breaking the truce.

On the other hand, some analysts are optimistic about the ongoing talks with TTP primarily due to the involvement of Afghan government of IEA directly & elders, well-known figures from different merged districts of KP.

   There are some other driving factors and pledges made by all stack holders which are encouraging signs such as; Afghan Taliban assured Pakistan that they would

not let their land used against any country and Pakistan made it clear that it will take action against the terrorists if attacks on Pakistan continued from Afghan soil.

    The Afghan Taliban are not in favour of further bloodshed on their soil as they need stability and need to build a positive image for financial aid. The Afghan Taliban have multiple other challenges like dealing with the Islamic State of Khurasan and other militant groups inside Afghanistan, therefore, peace in the region suits them.

    After the fall of Kabul, revenue sources for militant groups specially TTP, are drying which is forcing majority of these militants to surrender and live a normal life with their families.

Afghan Taliban have also imposed some strict restrictions on the fighters of TTP Pakistan, specially carrying weapons in Afghanistan.

Before the fall of Kabul, Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan enjoyed freedom to a good extent, however, now Afghan Taliban being main facilitator in the talks with Pakistan, the former has lost that status.

    Last but not the least; the people of merged tribal districts want peace now. They have suffered a lot during prolonged war on terror including displacements.

    Above all, Peace talks between the government of Pakistan and the TTP is need of the hour because violence and operations are not the only answer. If two decades war in Afghanistan is brought to an end through table tasks, then it can also be replicated for reconciliation with TTP to make Pakistan  a stable and prosperous country.

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