TTP 'red line' for Pakistan, says FM Bilawal

Emphasises on need to create consensus on Afghanistan issue

News Desk December 22, 2022
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Photo: Twitter


Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday said that the Tehreeke-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is a “red line" for the country and strict action is being taken against the outlawed group.

The minister made the remarks while talking to the media at the Pakistani embassy in Washington, US, and maintained that if the TTP is provided help or facility from Afghanistan, it will be "bad for Pakistan-Afghanistan relations".

He furthered that there is a need to create a consensus on the issue of Afghanistan because no nation wants that country to become a centre of terrorism in the world.

Bilawal added that there is still room for talks with the Afghan Taliban and said that Islamabad expects Kabul to show the intention and ability to act against terrorist groups because terrorism is not only a problem in Pakistan.

Read Govt to review strategy after TTP calls off truce

"Afghanistan is our neighbour, [and] we have to engage with them whether we want to or not," he said, adding that Pakistan must talk to Afghanistan but clarified that "having talks does not mean that we endorse their policy”.

While citing a United Nations report, he said, 90 per cent of people in the war-torn country are below the poverty line, which will not only increase Afghanistan's problems but also Pakistan's.

While answering a question, Bilawal said he will ask the Afghan Taliban to help in Pakistan's operations against the TTP.

The FM furthered that the Taliban vowed in the Doha Agreement to not use Afghanistan as a launch pad for terror attacks against any country, "so we think they have to fulfill their promises made to the world in Doha".

Last month, the TTP had said that they have called off a ceasefire agreed upon with the federal government in June and ordered its militants to stage terrorist attacks across the country.

The banned group, a separate entity from the Taliban in Afghanistan but sharing a similar hardline ideology, has been responsible for hundreds of attacks and thousands of deaths since emerging in 2007.

The government and the TTP had agreed to a truce earlier this year after Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers took a prominent role in brokering peace talks, but negotiations had made little progress and there were frequent breaches.


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