Khawaja Asif warns of increasing TTP threat

Says PTI-led govt had welcomed the people of the banned outfit; TTP problem for 'entire country'


​ Our Correspondents August 11, 2022
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif expressing his views in the National Assembly of Pakistan on Aug 10, 2022. Photo: Facebook/NationalAssemblyofPakistan

PESHAWAR/ ISLAMBAD:

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Wednesday said the law-and-order situation in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) was worsening because Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led provincial government had previously welcomed the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Asif expressed these views on the floor of the National Assembly while responding to MNA Mohsin Dawar, who had voiced concern over the increase in incidences of terrorism in the province following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

The minister maintained that there is tension on both sides of the border that the government is working to resolve.

He said that Ghulam Khan in North Waziristan was a local problem that was being looked into as a committee comprising political elders has been formed to visit the Pakistan-Afghanistan entry point in the area.

“But the situation is getting worse across K-P,” said Asif, adding that while the PTI government had welcomed the people of the banned group in the province in the past, “anti-TTP protests are now being held”.

Read: Dialogue with TTP: lopsided rationale

It is pertinent to note that protests against the militant outfit are being held in North Waziristan for the past 26 days with the people demanding “peace and protection”.

Earlier, talks between Pakistan and the outlawed TTP reached a deadlock as the militant group refused to budge from its demand for the reversal of the merger of erstwhile Fata with K-P.

There has also been a stalemate over the issue of TTP laying down their arms in case of a peace deal, which would enable them to return to their homeland.

Despite a series of meetings between the two sides, there had been no breakthrough. “There is a deadlock. And the prospects of a peace deal are not bright,” a source connected to the peace efforts had said.

Pakistan was hoping that a peace deal with the TTP or its certain breakaway factions would weaken the terrorist network.

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