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Taliban split on ceasefire extension
| TTP spokesman says some members opposing unconditional extension | Mohmand chapter chief announces ‘restart of war’ | Alleges govt forces of violating promises | Sami committee says truce to remain intact till formal announcement by TTP
 
 
 
Taliban split on ceasefire extension

PESHAWAR - Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) says it has yet to decide about extending the ceasefire as some of its members were opposing the extension.
Alleging continuous violation of ceasefire by the security forces, TTP’s Mohmand Agency chapter said it will not accept any extension in the ceasefire and war will resume now.
In view of ongoing peace talks with the government, Taliban had announced ceasefire on March 1. The government welcomed it and respond in the same tone. But now as the one-month ceasefire has expired, the governments want the Taliban to extend it.
According to private TV channels, TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said that there are differences among the members of the TTP on ceasefire extension. He said final decision in this regard would be taken soon by the TTP central shura. He said there was a voice of dissent within the TTP on the issue.
Some other media reports quoted TTP Mohmand Agency chief Omer Khalid Khurasani as saying that they have not extended the ceasefire due to continuous violation of ceasefire on the government’s part. He alleged that government violated its promises during the ceasefire period, and threatened that government would have to bear the consequence.
He said that influential segments of the country’s civilian government and security establishment were responsible for non-extension of the ceasefire. The war is going to resume now, he added. Talking about former president, Khurasani said that Pervez Musharraf was being given a safe exit from the country. He also talked about Pakistan’s defeat in T20 cricket world cup terming it a punishment from God, as the defeat left the nation crying and mourning.
During the ceasefire period, a remarkable decrease in terrorist activities has been witnessed as no suicide attack occurred in last three weeks of March, though two suicide bombing happened in the first week of the month but Taliban denied of their involvement.
But now it has been reported that some of the factions are in favour of extending the truce as long as the peace talks are under way with the government, while others are against it. Reports say some Taliban want to extend the truce but on certain conditions, but others want to resume war as they believe that government is just buying time and was not sincere in talks.
However, Taliban facilitating committee says the ceasefire from Taliban will remain intact until next formal announcement by the TTP in this regard. To discuss progress made to date on demands put forward by either side, Taliban and government committees will meet in a couple of days, they said. Obviously, to ensure talks between both the sides in a peaceful environment, there is need to extend the ceasefire. Taliban named three-member facilitation committee led by Samiul Haq is in contact with both the sides, but it too is waiting for government reply to TTP’s demands.
Talking to media, member of this committee, Prof Ibrahim Khan said that government should not delay the ongoing peace process, adding ceasefire would continue throughout the dialogue process. He said that they were waiting for a response from government side. “We hope we will receive a positive message from government.” He informed that a joint meeting of their committee and government peace team would be held in a couple of days.
Talking to media, Taliban negotiation committee coordinator Yousuf Shah said that Taliban ceasefire would continue until TTP withdrew their ceasefire announcement. He also said that they were in contact with the government and Taliban to move forward the negotiation process. The dialogue process has entered a decisive phase. The TTP have shared a list of Taliban non-combatants who they alleged are in the custody of security forces with government committee. Similarly, government had also called for the release of some high-profile figures held hostage by the Taliban.

 
 
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