Peace talks between Pakistan govt and TTP in Kabul will yield good results: Taliban spokesman

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PESHAWAR: The peace talks between the Pakistan government and the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have concluded in Kabul, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Saturday, exuding confidence that the negotiations facilitated by the Afghan government will soon bear good results.
Speaking to reporters in Kabul, Mujahid said the talks held between the two sides to end nearly two-decade-long militancy in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan ended two days ago.
He said the talks, facilitated by the Taliban government in Afghanistan, will yield good results this time.
Mujahid also said that Afghanistan’s soil will not be used against Pakistan even if the talks fail to bear any result.
After several rounds of talks, the government and the TTP last month agreed to extend a ceasefire indefinitely while continuing negotiations to find an end to the nearly two decades of militancy.
The TTP, also known as the Pakistan Taliban, was set up as an umbrella group of several militant outfits in 2007. Its main aim is to impose its strict brand of Islam across Pakistan.
The group, which is believed to be close to al-Qaeda, has been blamed for several deadly attacks across Pakistan, including an attack on army headquarters in 2009, assaults on military bases and the 2008 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.
The talks with the TTP were led by the defence experts and it was earlier confirmed by the defence sources that former ISI chief and current Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, also participated in the talks.
A 50-member traditional tribal jirga from Pakistan also joined the talks but came back with an understanding to continue political engagements with the TTP.
Pakistan has been fencing the 2,600-km border with Afghanistan since 2017 to end terrorist infiltration and smuggling, despite intense opposition from the neighbouring country.
Besides the erection of a fence, the project also includes the construction of border posts and forts, and the raising of new wings of the Frontier Corps, the paramilitary force that guards the border.
When the Taliban returned to power last year, Pakistan hoped that the new dispensation would deal with these terrorist groups. Despite promises, the Taliban have not yet taken decisive action to fulfil their commitments, which has frustrated the Pakistan government.
Last month, the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan had started taking steps to shift terrorist groups away from the regions bordering Pakistan following a series of recent cross-border attacks that killed nearly a dozen Pakistani soldiers and prompted a strong reaction from Islamabad.







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