Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan confirms peace talks with the Government

The news of Pakistani Taliban agreeing on peace talk with the Government has appeared as a surprise. It was reported today that, Maulvi Faqir Mohammad who is the commander of Pakistani wing of Taliban agreed that he is in the process of peace talks with
the authorities.

Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Rehman Malik has repeatedly welcomed the TTP to cease fire as it would bring peace in the region. Malik briefed on November 23rd, “I have no formal information about Taliban’s ceasefire announcement and offer, however,
we will welcome unilaterally ceasefire offer of Taliban”.

An article by BBC explains the cause behind the formation of Tahrik-i-Taliban Pakistan. The 2004 Publication states, “The latest military offensive, in which air force bombers and gunship helicopters pounded an alleged training camp of suspected al-Qaeda
militants, has resulted in heavy casualties. And it has taken the conflict to an area [South Waziristan] that until now had remained relatively peaceful. … The military offensive had been part of the overall war against al-Qaeda. … Since the start of the
operation, the [Pakistani] military authorities have firmly established that a large number of Uzbek, Chechen and Arab militants were in the area. … It was in July 2002 that Pakistani troops, for the first time in 55 years, entered the Tirah Valley in Khyber
tribal agency. Soon they were in Shawal valley of North Waziristan, and later in South Waziristan. … This was made possible after long negotiations with various tribes, who reluctantly agreed to allow the military’s presence on the assurance that it would
bring in funds and development work. But once the military action started in South Waziristan a number of Waziri sub-tribes took it as an attempt to subjugate them. Attempts to persuade them into handing over the foreign militants failed, and with an apparently
mishandling by the authorities, the security campaign against suspected al-Qaeda militants turned into an undeclared war between the Pakistani military and the rebel tribesmen”.

Current negotiations are focussing only the South Waziristan region but it could be expanded. Maulvi Faqir also briefed the media about the ongoing peace talks as he said, “If negotiations succeed and we are able to sign a peace agreement in Bajaur, then
the government and the Taliban of other areas such as Swat, Mohmand, Orakzai and South Waziristan tribal region will sign an agreement. Bajaur will be a role model for other areas”.

Tahrik-i-Taliban Pakistan is blamed for most of the bloodshed in the country and successful talks can really help in bringing peace in the region. An Announcement of peace talks from the Taliban commander will undoubtedly raise an eye brow and can further
conflict the US Pak relations.

Considering the circumstances it is certain that every path leading towards Peace in South Asia will have to go through a bumpy road.

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