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Desperate Pakistani generals have turned to Afghan tribal Leaders to arrange meetings with TTP militants

Desperate Pakistani generals have turned to Afghan tribal Leaders to arrange meetings with TTP militants.

Despite the claim that their operations against the militant outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) continue till the menace is wiped out, the Pakistani army is desperately looking for support to restart  peace talks with the banned militant group.

Now the generals of the Pakistani army have been in touch with the prominent and influential leaders of the Jirga to “persuade” the TTP militant leaders to come back to the negotiation table.

“As per our understanding, tribal elders have major influence on the TTP chief and few other senior commanders. Tribal jirgas, for centuries, have proved very effective in resolving tribal disputes peacefully. They have certain channels of engagements for negotiations that, if used effectively, can result in paving the way for composite talks with the TTP,” Pakistani daily The Nation quoted one general as saying.

Pakistan turns to tribal jirga to restart peace talks with local Taliban

According to the report, the process has started. The chief spokesman of the UN designated terror group, Muhammad Khurassani confirmed it but made it clear that their main meditator is the Haqqani Network of the Taliban regime.

“The jirga has contacted us but we sent it to the mediator, which is the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. So far, there is no discussion or meeting with the jirga,” Khurassani told the daily.

The TTP had unilaterally called off a month-long ceasefire agreement  with the Pakistani government on December 9 last year, which was mediated by Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Interior Minister of the Taliban regime and the chief of Haqqani Network at the “request” by the Pakistani army. Since then the TTP has intensified its attacks on the Pakistani security offices.

Their militant cadres were seen fighting and bulldozing the wire fences on the Durand Line along with the Afghan Taliban fighters.

Earlier the Pakistani military establishment had claimed that the dialogue with the TTP “was a confidence-building measure taken to actually go into talks with the violent non-state actors on the request of the current Afghan government”. But last week it  became clear that it was the Pakistani army which has imposed  pressure their protégé, the  Haqqani group,  to reign in the TTP.

The Pakistani military establishment warned chief of the Taliban Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada and the Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani that if they do not control the TTP, it is impossible for them to get recognition. Cultivated by the Pakistani intelligence, the Haqanni network, known for terrorism, drug trafficking and kidnappings, is occupying top positions, including the interior ministry, in the Taliban interim government that emerged center-stage after the group swept to power on August 15. 

Also Read : Desperate Pakistan threatens Taliban– if you want recognition cage the TTP militants first

Notwithstanding Pakistani pressure, the regime in Kabul is unfazed.  Pakistani watchers believe that “the Afghan Taliban will not expel the TTP for the same reasons it won’t expel al-Qaida. Both groups played a key role in the Afghan Taliban’s victory. They fought alongside the Afghan Taliban and sacrificed greatly over the past 20 years.”

Since the victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the TTP has managed to unite the splinter groups under one umbrella with an agenda of Pashtun unity. The group has made it clear that it has a sole agenda of overthrowing the Punjabi-dominated Pakistani government in Islamabad and establishing a government that is concerned about Pashtun rights and Islamic Sharia Law.

According to Pakistani experts,  the TTP has become much stronger than before and with the release of their top leaders, would be ready to strike Pakistan with a new strategy and power. The coming months  will be the toughest for the Pakistani army as the TTP  has shifted all its power to the tribal areas and the Pakistani army is pinning hopes on the tribal leaders.

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