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Taliban urge Pakistan to pursue peace talks with TTP

AT News

KABUL – Afghan Taliban have asked the Pakistani government to initiate further peace negotiations with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant group. A high-ranking Taliban leader in Kabul conveyed the message to Islamabad, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing peace over conflict.

Despite Pakistan’s efforts to address concerns regarding the TTP’s activities, discussions on the matter did not make significant progress. Pakistan’s special envoy, Ambassador Asad Durrani, visited Kabul for a three-day trip to meet with key officials, including Afghanistan’s Acting Prime Minister Maulvi Abdul Kabir and Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, to convey a clear message from Pakistan. The message emphasized the need for decisive action against the TTP, which has been responsible for several major terror attacks in the country.

However, during a series of closed-door meetings, the Afghan Taliban leadership firmly advised Ambassador Durrani to opt for a peaceful approach rather than resorting to force when dealing with the TTP. Pakistan’s patience concerning the TTP was reportedly wearing thin, but the Taliban government in Afghanistan demonstrated its reluctance to take action against the group.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, reiterated the country’s serious concerns about terrorism, underscoring that Pakistan had raised this issue with the Afghan authorities on multiple occasions. Despite Pakistan’s insistence on action against the TTP, the Afghan Taliban government remained committed to pursuing the path of peace rather than engaging in military measures against the group.

The Deputy Afghan Prime Minister advised the Pakistani envoy to embrace the “path of peace” instead of resorting to the “use of force,” reflecting Afghanistan’s desire for a peaceful resolution to the situation. Kabul once again urged Pakistan to initiate peace talks with the TTP. However, Pakistan had previously discontinued the peace process due to increased TTP attacks and took the stance that talks could only resume once the TTP surrendered.

Pakistan accused the Taliban government in Kabul of tolerating the presence of the banned TTP militants in Afghanistan, leading to a significant increase in TTP attacks since the Afghan Taliban’s rise to power in 2021.

During their meeting, the Afghan Acting Prime Minister Kabir responded to Ambassador Durrani’s query about whether Pakistan should prioritize peace over war. Kabir advised Pakistan to opt for negotiations, citing Afghanistan’s bitter experiences with wars and the belief that peace in Pakistan would be in Afghanistan’s best interest. He emphasized that Afghanistan, as a Muslim country, does not desire fighting and unrest in Pakistan and assured the Pakistani envoy of their government’s policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations. Kabir also pledged that Afghanistan would not permit its soil to be used against any other country, including Pakistan.

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