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Desperate Pakistan knocks on Haqqani terror chief’s door for truce with arch-foe TTP

Sirajuddin Haqqani is hosting face- to -face talks with the banned militant group (TTP) and Pakistani army officers at an undisclosed place in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s Interior Minister and chief of dreaded terror organisation Haqqani Network. Sirajuddin Haqqani is hosting  face- to -face talks with the banned militant group (TTP) and Pakistani army officers at an undisclosed place in Afghanistan. 

“They have been engaged in talks for two weeks,” reports Pakistani daily Dawn quoting a source familiar with the negotiations, describing the talks as “hectic”.


The  mediation effort is starting with confidence building measures, which includes release of  arrested TTP militants by Pakistan.

“The truce will come into effect once the prisoners are released,” multiple  sources told Dawn. It added  that “the two sides are fine-tuning their demands and conditions for a cease-fire.”

“First there will be a month-long ceasefire which is extendable, depending on how these negotiations go forward,” the daily said quoting another source.

Sources said that once the cease-fire is agreed, the Pakistani security forces will not take action against the TTP and the group will not carry out attacks on the security forces or civilians.

According to Afghan sources, the TTP has also demanded the implementation of Islamic Sharia law in Pakistan’s tribal region, a demand that  is unlikely to be met.

Also Read : Pak Army faces wrath of Pakistan Taliban—attacked 55 times since July

“It is secret talk and both sides are weighing their options. Sirajuddin will be the guarantor since the Pakistani army and the TTP chief both trust him,” says an Afghan journalist.

However, the TTP has yet not confirmed or denied the possible secret  understanding between the two sides.

The negotiations come as the TTP has intensified its attacks since Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan  in north-western Pakistan, its stronghold. Last month Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had said in an interview with the Turkish media TRT world that that his government was willing to “forgive” TTP militants if a cease-fire deal was reached which was immediately denied by the TTP.

According to Afghan sources, it was Sirajuddin Haqqani who persuaded the TTP chief Noor Wali Mahsud to join the talks.

“The terms and outcome of these talks may help reveal the state of relations between Pakistan and the Haqqanis, e.g. whether the Haqqanis do more mediating than imposing terms on the ascendant TTP. The Pakistani state gets some respite. What does the TTP get in return,” asks journalist Arif Rafiq.

Pakistani observers are wary of Imran Khan government “secret” deals with the militant outfits. Last week Khan’s government made a secret deal with the TLP and it was said that Khan has surrendered to the militant organisation. Now, with a secret deal with the  TTP,  and Pakistanis are not happy.

“The TTP has not waged a bloody war just against the government, but against Pakistani society. In this bloodletting, no place was spared — office, school, mosque, shrine, and bazaar; and no one was spared — officers, politicians, women, old men, children and toddlers. The wounds run deep. They are raw, yet. Time heals, but not so fast,” says Pakistani journalist Fahd Hussain.

Since the emergence of the TTP in 2007, Pakistan  has signed peace deals with several factions. But none of the agreements has lasted, and most were followed by increased violence.

Also Read : Desperate Imran Khan turns to Good Taliban in Kabul for help to curb Bad Taliban in Pakistan