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TTP leader says ‘Still open’ to ceasefire with Pakistan government

AT News

Kabul: The chief of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has said that his group is “still open” to a ceasefire agreement with the Pakistan government, according to media reports.

 “We held talks with Pakistan mediated by Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan. We are still open to the ceasefire agreement,” the Dawn newspaper quoted TTP chief Mufti Noor Wali Mehsood as saying in a video on Saturday.

In November last year, the TTP called off an indefinite ceasefire agreed with the government in June 2022 and ordered its militants to carry out attacks on the security forces.

Mehsood’s change in stance comes amid reports that he has sought guidance from religious scholars in Pakistan.

In the video message, Mehsood said his outfit is “open to guidance” from Pakistan’s religious scholars if they believe “the direction of our jihad” is wrong, according to the Express Tribune newspaper.

“If you find any problem in the jihad that we waged, if you believe we have changed our direction, that we have gone astray, then you’re requested to guide us. We’re always ready to listen to your arguments happily,” the TTP chief said.

Mehsood’s comments come amid a sharp uptick in violence across Pakistan.

On Saturday, Pakistan police arrested five TTP members during intelligence-based operations in the country’s Punjab province.

Over 5,000 tribesmen took out a rally on Friday in Wana, the headquarters of the South Waziristan tribal district, against the growing unrest, terrorism, and kidnappings in their areas.

The protest comes amidst rising terrorist attacks in the country, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces that are believed to have been carried out by TTP militants.

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