Rifaqatullah Razarwal

Outlawed Tehrik Taliban Pakistan has announced a ceasefire for five more days.

TTP leadership has issued a letter on social media directing its cadres to increase the 10 days ceasefire it had announced on Eidul Fitr by another five days.

Analyst believe that the prolonging the ceasefire appeared to be aimed at salvaging the talks with the government.

Earlier in Razman, TTP had announced a 10 days ceasefire for Eidul Fitr.

Haq Nawaz Khan, a senior journalist said that TTP ceasefire annocuments were aimed at paving way for peace. However, Mr Nawaz said that he was not sure about what level of talks both sides were engaged in.

Quoting Taliban spokesperson Muhammad Khurassani he said that they have extended the ceasefire and talks with government were also on track.

Mr Nawaz said that it was reported previously that the Utmanzai and Mehsud tribes’ elders were sent to Afghanistan to hold talks with the TTP. He said that even North Waziristan administration has confirmed these efforts; however, the results were not known.

Earlier last year, TTP and Pakistani government had confirmed holding talks mediated by the Afghan Taliban and also announced ceasefire in November and December.

However, later TTP said that government did not accept their demands while Pakistani government said that militants’ demands were unacceptable.

Defense analyst retired brigadier Syed Nazir Mohmand said that Pakistani, Afghans and particularly people of merged areas wanted peace between both sides.

“Tribesmen have badly suffered during the militancy,” he said.

Regarding ongoing talks, Mr Mohmand said that though he was not sure about the progress; however, added that both sides were honestly trying to achieve peace.

Mr Mohmand said that besides TTP other terrorist organizations will be a challenge.

He said that like Afghanistan, another group may try to capitalize on the situation, if peace is made with one outfit.

On the other hand, Mr Nawaz said that TTP attacks increased when the Taliban took over in Afghanistan.

He said that Pakistani government was alleging that these attacks were being planned on Afghan soil; however, the other side denied this.

He said that over past eight months security forces have been in the crosshairs of terrorist attacks. “Pakistan government should come up with a solution for this problem from the parliament platform, otherwise, it is going to cause more troubles for tribesmen,” he said.

On the other hand, a report of the Pakistan Institute of Conflict and Security Studies said that the terrorist attacks have surged in first four months of this year.

The report said that 97 incidents of terror took place during this period, claiming lives of 474 people and injuring 422 others.

Earlier in April, military media wing ISPR had said that 128 terrorists were killed in security operations while 270 others were arrested.

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