Pakistan snubs Taliban advice for talks with TTP

Islamabad asks Kabul to take action against terrorist outfits

Kamran Yousaf April 04, 2024
FO Spokesperson Mumtaz Baloch. PHOTO: RADIO PAKISTAN



Pakistan on Thursday ruled out any possibility of talks with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) once again, saying Islamabad expects the interim Afghan government to take action against terrorist hideouts.

Speaking at her weekly news briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said Pakistan had no plan to initiate negotiations with the TTP.

Her statement came a day after a senior Taliban member urged Pakistan and the TTP to restart talks. Afghanistan's Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Nabi Omari has advised Pakistan and the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to resolve their issues through dialogue as the violence in Pakistan "is spreading to Afghanistan".

Speaking at an event in Khost, Afghanistan’s Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Nabi Omari said that Afghans had seen wars and revolutions. "Wars and revolutions create widows, create orphans, destroy the country and the economy," Omari noted in an effort to justify the call for talks between Pakistan and the TTP.

He went on to warn Pakistan that if the country’s army is a million or ten million, it is "our experience that you cannot win this war”. Referring to those fighting against Pakistan brothers, Omari said even if the TTP invokes jihad (holy war), the Afghan Taliban will not interfere.

At the same time, he also advised the TTP and its allied militant groups that "even if they fight for 100 years, we have nothing to do with it". The fighting in Pakistan is creating problems for us and the flames are reaching Afghanistan."

Though Omari didn’t say explicitly, the fact he spoke of the Afghan Taliban facing problems because of the TTP suggested that the terror outfit was operating from the neighbouring country. This was also for the first time any Taliban leader publicly admitted the pressure Kabul had been facing over the TTP issue.

Pakistan tried the peace process in the past at the request of Afghan Taliban. The process initially produced a ceasefire in exchange of Pakistan freeing TTP militants. However, talks collapsed after Pakistan realised that the TTP was using the process to regroup.

Since the change of army command, Pakistan has shut all the doors for talks with TTP. The Afghan Taliban on the other hand are still pushing for the talks. Observers believe that given the position taken by both the sides, the deadlock will continue to persist.

Read Pakistan's patience is wearing thin

On 18 March, Pakistan had to carry out strikes inside Afghanistan after months of frustration over Taliban’s lack of action against the TTP. Sources said the cross-border strikes might be the last option but if terrorist attacks continue Pakistan would be compelled to exercise that option again.

The Foreign Office spokesperson said Pakistan expected Afghan authorities to take urgent action against terrorist outfits and their leadership for the crimes they were committing and the terrorist incidents they were responsible for in Pakistan.

She further said that Pakistan remained committed to fighting against all terrorist outfits which had targeted Pakistan and the symbols of the Pakistan-China friendship.

She said that Afghanistan was discussed at the 19th regular meeting of the secretaries of the security councils of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) held in Kazakhstan on April 3.

Secretary of the National Security Division, Waqar Ahmad, who led the Pakistan delegation at the SCO, warned about the “far-reaching consequences about terrorists acts for the entire region and stressed the need for adopting a comprehensive approach to address the root causes,” Baloch said.

“He termed peaceful and stable Afghanistan a strategic imperative for regional prosperity and called upon SCO member states to follow a holistic policy and build broad convergences with SCO region to address multifaceted challenges confronting Afghanistan,” Baloch said.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ