Rashid not optimistic about talks with TTP

Interior minister says terrorists in Balochistan were in touch with people in Afghanistan, India

Our Correspondent February 05, 2022
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed. PHOTO: BBC


Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Friday a government delegation had gone for talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) but chances of any headway were dim because of the unrealistic demands put forth by the outlawed group.

Briefing the Senate Committee on Interior, Rashid said that the Afghan Taliban initially held talks with the TTP, who impressed upon it to settle its issues with Pakistan, however, the negotiations could not make any headway.

“Their conditions are unacceptable,” Rashid told the committee, adding that there were TTP members in the border areas of Afghanistan. The minister opined that many groups of the umbrella organisation had probably come together.

While speaking about the group’s activities, the minister said that they ended the ceasefire unilaterally. “The TTP made 10 attempts in the country in recent past, he said, adding: “Two of its terrorists were killed in Islamabad in recent days.”


Rashid told the senators that the communication intercepted in Thursday incidents in Balochistan, indicated that the terrorists were in touch with the people not only in Afghanistan and India but also in other places.

“Seven of our men [soldiers], including a major, were martyred in the attack,” he said, referring to the attack at a security forces’ camp in Panjgur. He warned that terrorists could carry out terrorist activity anywhere in the country. “We have directed all the chief secretaries to keep alert,” he added.

Senator Sarfraz Bugti drew the minister’s attention to the use of the internet in Balochistan. In Thursday’s incident, the terrorists were in contact with their masters live through WhatsApp, he told the minister asking him to look into that matter.

Read More: TTP unilaterally scrapped ceasefire deal: NSA

Rashid said that the ministry could not break any communication link until a request was forwarded to it by the province concerned. On Thursday, he said, when the ministry was informed about the use of the internet by terrorists, it shut it down. “We cannot shut down communication in any area on our own.”

At the outset of the meeting chaired by the committee chairman, Senator Mohsin Aziz, the participants offered Fateha for the security forces personnel who were martyred in the recent Panjgur and Noshki terrorist attacks. The committee decided to issue a letter to pay tributes to the martyrs.

Later, Rashid told the media that the situation in Balochistan should be resolved in a political manner through discussion with the political people. However, he warned that if anyone took up arms would be dealt with forcefully.

“Our effort is to bring all of them within the ambit of the Constitution and the law. But if someone attacks the country's sovereignty, if there is anyone against the Pakistan Army or the armed forces, then one has to be given a befitting reply,” he said.

Meanwhile, talking to a private TV channel, the minister said that the terrorists with the help of Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), were trying to sabotage peace in Pakistan but assured that the Pakistan’s armed forces were wiping them out.

About Balochistan, he said that most of the terrorists had been killed while the search for the remaining was continuing. He said that fencing of the 20% of the Afghan border had yet to complete, adding that the terrorists entered in Balochistan from those open space.



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