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Honeymoon sours–frustrated Pakistan now has a dim view of the Taliban government in Afghanistan

Pakistan PM Imran Khan with Taliban Leaders. (Photo Credit : Twitter)

Pakistan is frustrated with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and it came out in the open on Thursday when the Pakistani National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said that Islamabad was "not completely optimistic" with the Taliban rulers.

“Organised terrorist networks are still operating on the Afghan soil which is still being used against Pakistan,” Moeed Yusuf told the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs. Pakistan was hopeful that the Taliban leaders would address its major security concerns by reigning in the militants of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) but the emboldened TTP had intensified its attacks on the Pakistani forces. Yusuf told the committee that Pakistan had approached the Afghan Taliban leadership after the group returned to power in August with a list of demands that included action against the TTP. However, the Afghan Taliban instead offered their good offices to broker a peace deal with the TTP.

“We did talk to them (TTP) which was mediated by the Taliban but it was a futile exercise and TTP unilaterally called off the month-long ceasefire,” Yusuf said. He added  that no sovereign country could meet TTP’s demands.

Earlier, Pakistan had conveyed to the top leaders of the Taliban that the TTP was a “test case” for them.

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

Interestingly, on Monday, the Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed told the Pakistani Senate that the Afghan Taliban refused to handover TTP leaders to Pakistan by saying that the group, also call the Pak Taliban, had  fought alongside them for 20 years in Afghanistan. The Taliban promised that they won't allow them to use Afghan soil against Pakistan and will shift them to far flung areas in Afghanistan. He indicated that Pakistan has been putting more pressure on the Taliban.

There are reports that the Pakistani generals have been using prominent Pashtun leaders to revive the talks with the TTP leaders.

According to Pakistani observers,  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.

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