ISLAMABAD (NWN) – Pakistani authorities on Monday declared a month-long ceasefire with a major terrorist group behind several attacks on security forces and civilians over the past 14 years.
Government spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said on Twitter that the Taliban government in Afghanistan helped facilitate a ceasefire between Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP.
In a statement, TTP spokesman Mohammad Khurasani confirmed that the ceasefire, which began on November 9, would continue till December 9, during which both sides would form a committee to continue talks. He said both the sides would abide by the ceasefire.
The agreement came amidst peace talks between the government and the TTP that began last month. Chowdhury said the ceasefire could be extended if the talks continued.
The TTP is an umbrella group and a separate organization from the Taliban in Afghanistan, which seized power in August.
The return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan has boosted the TTP. Chowdhury did not give any details about the ongoing talks, during which he said that both sides agreed on a ceasefire.
Officials had earlier said that peace talks are taking place with TTP leaders in Afghanistan, where they have been hiding for the past several years. The TTP was formed in 2007 by Pakistani terrorists and since then thousands of people have been killed in several attacks claimed by the group over the past 14 years.
Choudhary said that the elders of the former tribal areas are being made aware of the talks with the TTP. When Pakistan launched an operation in the northwest in 2013 to drive out TTP fighters, nearly one million people were displaced. They returned to their homes after 2017 when Pakistan claimed victory against the terrorists.