October 17, 2021

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Pakistan in Talks With Taliban Militants, At the same time as Assaults Ramp Up

Pakistan in Talks With Taliban Militants, Even as Attacks Ramp Up

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan is holding talks with factions of the Pakistani Taliban, a banned militant group chargeable for a few of the nation’s worst terrorist assaults, and would forgive members who lay down their weapons, Prime Minister Imran Khan stated on Friday.

Though particulars of the talks had been unclear, negotiations with the group generally known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or T.T.P., could be probably the most vital growth since comparable efforts failed in 2014 and Pakistan turned to an enormous navy operation to decrease the group.

“There are totally different teams which type the Pakistani Taliban, or T.T.P.,” Mr. Khan stated in an interview with the Turkish state tv station TRT World. “We’re in talks with a few of them on a reconciliation course of. We’d not attain some form of conclusion or settlement in the long run, however we’re speaking.”

In a press release quickly after Mr. Khan’s interview, the T.T.P. referred to as on its fighters to proceed their assaults. It denied divisions in its ranks and made no acknowledgment of the continuing talks. It additionally claimed duty for a lethal assault on a Pakistani navy convoy on Friday, the newest in a spate of such assaults.

Mr. Khan stated the talks had been held in neighboring Afghanistan, the place the Afghan Taliban are in energy after ousting the nation’s American-backed authorities in August.

The Afghan and Pakistani Taliban are separate entities, though their ideologies overlap, as does their coaching, in non secular seminaries in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Whereas Pakistan’s navy has been preventing the Pakistani Taliban, it has lengthy been accused of nurturing the Afghan Taliban.

The Afghan Taliban’s takeover subsequent door has supplied Pakistan with an ally, and Pakistani officers have urged that the group’s authorities in Kabul be recognized internationally.

Spokesmen for the Taliban authorities in Afghanistan didn’t reply to requests for touch upon Mr. Khan’s revelation of talks in Afghanistan.

An Afghan Taliban commander conscious of the talks, who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of he was not licensed to debate particulars, stated his group had proposed the negotiations to each side and had supplied its assist in serving to finish the two-decade battle in Pakistan.

Pakistani officers remained tight-lipped concerning the particulars, however two senior safety officers who spoke on situation of anonymity to debate delicate talks recommended that the Afghan Taliban had been appearing as intermediaries.

Till final yr, the Pakistani Taliban appeared significantly weakened, their high management killed or pushed into Afghanistan after the 2014 talks collapsed. Pakistan’s ensuing navy operation, whereas diminishing the group, additionally took a heavy toll on civilians.

And the Pakistani Taliban maintained the power to hold out ambushes, which have intensified in latest weeks.

Even when talks get underway in earnest, the positions of the 2 sides seem tough to reconcile.

One of many senior Pakistani safety officers stated talks would solely occur “throughout the confines of Pakistan’s regulation and Structure,” and that there could be “no acceptability” for the militants if they didn’t settle for these phrases and lay down arms.

The militant group doesn’t settle for the Pakistani Structure and has lengthy demanded that Islamic regulation, or Shariah, be put in impact. It reiterated that place final month when it rebuffed a proposal of amnesty from senior Pakistani officers.

“The T.T.P. has two primary situations for negotiations: Shariah’s implementation and the discharge of T.T.P. prisoners,” stated Abdul Sayed, a safety specialist and researcher on militant teams in Afghanistan and Pakistan, who is predicated in Sweden.

“It appears fairly tough that with such hard-line calls for, its negotiations with the state can proceed. With out these situations, T.T.P. says that significant dialogue can not happen,” Mr. Sayed stated.

Ihsanullah Tipu Mehsud contributed reporting from Islamabad and Mujib Mashal from New Delhi.

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