The fall of a democratic government in Kabul has come as a boost for terror groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan (Photo: IANS)
The Pakistani government's bete noire, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has demanded opening an office in a third country during negotiations with the Imran Khan government, a leading Pakistani daily said.
The Pakistani government had entered into talks with the TTP—a terror group operating from the Af-Pak region but one of the few acting against the Pakistani military and government. The group had launched a series of deadly attacks against Pakistani troops almost immediately after the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban, which led to a consolidation of terror groups in the region.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has asked the Pakistan government to allow it to open a political office in a third country. #Pakistan government said "not acceptable". pic.twitter.com/3CbUSDhrGx
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The talks came in for severe criticism as many believed that the Imran Khan government had bowed down to the terror group. Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had announced that a monthlong ceasefire had been agreed between the TTP and the Pakistani government, which was seen as capitulation before the terror outfit.
The talks between the TTP and the Pakistani government were brokered by the Taliban government in Afghanistan, of which two meetings took place in Khost and one in Afghan capital Kabul.
Pakistani newspaper The Express Tribune reported that the second demand put forth by the terror group includes reversal of the Federal Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) merger with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The third demand includes introduction of Islamic system in Pakistan, as has been done in Afghanistan by the Taliban militants.
The newspaper says that the Pakistani negotiators told the TTP directly and through the Taliban mediators that these three demands were not acceptable.
Instead, Pakistan has insisted that the TTP lays down arms, renders a public apology over its acts of terror and accepts the supremacy of the State.
Pakistan believes that it has the upper hand in negotiating with the TTP as it says that the friendly Taliban government in Afghanistan will support Islamabad, and may even help subdue the TTP and other ani-Pak groups.
This is the same position that Beijing has taken with regard to the Taliban government in Kabul. The Chinese government too expects, much like Pakistan, that the Taliban militants will use their influence with anti-Beijing forces in Afghanistan to neutralise them. Beijing particularly worries that the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) may stir up trouble in its eastern province Xinjiang with the Uighur people.
The Taliban government has, however, shown no inclination to crackdown on either the anti-Pakistan forces or the anti-Beijing terror groups on its soil. On the contrary it has told Pakistan that Kabul can play a role in mediating and holding talks with the anti-Pak militants but will not take action against such groups.
One of the biggest attacks by the TTP against Pakistan occured when it attacked a school in 2014 killing around 135 students and teachers.