Talks For Peace?

Based on recent meetings and conversations, it is being reported that the interim Afghanistan government is still in favour of talks being held between Pakistan and the TTP. Given that the TTP has served as an ally in recent times and is an ideological extension of the Taliban, it perhaps makes sense for Kabul to keep pushing for talks, but Pakistan can ill afford to fall for this again. And rightly so, Islamabad has unequivocally told the interim Afghan government that talks can only be considered if the terrorist outfit surrenders and lays down arms.
According to sources, this proposal was put in front of Pakistan when Afghan Interim Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi visited Islamabad last month. The clear-cut refusal shows that there is now clarity of thought and action. However, given how disastrous the previous round of talks turned out to be, it is hard to say that talks would be a good idea with the groups under any kind of circumstances whatsoever.
Meanwhile, the TTP continues to conduct attacks on a weekly basis, and the group also claimed responsibility for an attack in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Sunday that left two soldiers and two militants dead.
Even if the group chooses to surrender, there are other complicated modalities that need to be figured out. For instance, the settlement or relocation of the militants and their families. Allowing them to remain in Pakistan would be problematic given how that turned out with fighters regrouping after having laid down arms initially. More importantly, the residents of areas that bore the brunt of the war on terror and the resurgence of the TTP have put their foot down and are demanding the state to ensure that peace and stability is provided to them after years of loss, trauma, and suffering. Kabul of course will continue to advocate for talks as it is hesitant in taking its ideological cousin head-on. But as far as Islamabad is concerned, there can be no more concessions or negotiations with a group that continues to shed the blood of innocent Pakistani civilians and law enforcement personnel.

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