Ceasefire falters as TTP claim responsibility for police attacks in K-P

Banned outfit remains ambivalent on 'ceasefire', says no progress made on pact with Islamabad


News Desk September 03, 2022
PHOTO: REUTERS

The months-long ceasefire between the government and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has apparently come to an end as the banned outfit claimed responsibility on Sunday for three attacks on police in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

According to details, the TTP has accepted responsibility for an attack on a police constable in Dera Ismail Khan, the killing of a police official in Lakki Marwat and an attack in Peshawar that had claimed the life of one security official and left three – including an SHO – injured. The attacks apparently came after the ceasefire ended a month ago.

A spokesperson for the terrorist outfit reportedly said the Pakistani government had failed to implement the “agreed upon decisions” and made no effort to make the negotiations successful in this one month, “so it is not possible to continue the ceasefire”.

In addition to negotiations with the government, the terrorist organisation had expected its prisoners to be released from captivity and an end to military operations. But in an apparent “violation of the agreement” the few TTP prisoners who had been released were re-arrested.

The military sources and the TTP chief have, however, denied reports of the end of the “indefinite ceasefire”.

Read Dialogue with TTP to take place with parliament's permission: Rana Sanaullah

TTP chief Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud has distanced himself from any statements concerning the end of the ceasefire despite accepting responsibility for the attacks.

The terrorist leader has said that the organisation had never refused meaningful negotiations and it was a part of Shariah politics. However, he added that there had been no progress during these negotiations.

Therefore, he said that the armed struggle would continue and if the talks were successful, the future course of action would be announced later.

Earlier this month, IGP Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Moazam Jah Ansari had described the impression that militancy has found a firm foothold in the province as baseless.

He had said that K-P has been in the grip of terrorism for the past 20 years and the war is still ongoing. Nevertheless, the situation is not critical, he had stressed.

Read More Peace talks to pre-empt ‘TTP-Da’ish nexus’

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

There had 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.

Sources familiar with the development had revealed that there had been a series of meetings between the two sides in recent weeks to break the impasse yet there had been no breakthrough.

Although the government had been holding talks with the TTP for months to broker some kind of a deal, prospects of such an agreement remained grim, sources familiar with the development had told The Express Tribune.

Also read Barrister Saif blames ‘anti-TTP groups’ for K-P law and order situation

The breakdown in talks had led to a spike in cross-border terrorist attacks by the TTP.

In April, two dozen Pakistani security forces were martyred in a series of cross-border attacks. Some of the attacks filmed by the TTP showed the terrorists using sophisticated weapons.

The increase in attacks prompted Pakistan to launch air strikes across the border targeting the TTP’s hideouts. Islamabad also in a rare move had issued a stern warning to the Afghan Taliban not to allow their soil to be used against Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Army has dismissed reports regarding the presence of large numbers of banned armed members in Swat Valley.

"During the past few days, a misperception about the alleged presence of a large number of proscribed organisation TTP’s armed members in Swat Valley has been created on social media," military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), had said in a statement.

After confirmation on the ground, it had added, that the reports have been found as "grossly exaggerated and misleading".

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