Pakistani Ulema to visit Kabul in a bid to ‘soften’ TTP

Mufti Taqi Usmani is likely to head the 13-member delegation of religious scholars


Shahabullah Yousafzai June 16, 2022
Representational picture. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The government will be sending a delegation of religious scholars to Afghanistan to soften the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) after a tribal Jirga could not go beyond convincing the group to extend a ceasefire in negotiations brokered by the Taliban regime in Kabul, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The 13-member delegation would comprise religious scholars from renowned seminaries of country and it would be travelling to the Afghan capital within a few days, according to sources.

Mufti Taqi Usmani is tipped to head the delegation which would also include Ulema from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa having strong connections with the Haqqani Network, which is mediating the current negotiation process between the Pakistan government and the TTP.

The Ulema delegation would have a face-to-face meeting with the TTP leadership in Kabul.

Also read: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Pakistani Taliban

The Ulema would also seek to enlist the help of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the interim interior minister of Afghanistan, to make the truce more effective.

The delegation would try to convince the TTP to give up their demand for the rollback of erstwhile FATA reforms which have been approved by Pakistan’s parliament and to shun their purported “jihad” against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The current negotiation process, according to Pakistan’s information minister, has the backing of the civil and military leaders. However, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and his party say parliament should be taken into confidence on this new initiative.

A spokesperson for the TTP has also confirmed to The Express Tribune that a delegation of Pakistani religious scholars would be travelling to Kabul soon for a meeting with the TTP leaders. He did not give further details.

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