TTP gained ground during peace talks, Nacta tells Senate panel

ISLAMABAD         -          The National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) on Thursday told the Senate Standing Committee on Interior that the proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) gained considerable ground during the peace talks process. ”TTP, during peace talks process, gained considerable ground; increased its footprint and magnitude of activities”, the premier counterterrorism institute said in a document submitted before the Senate panel. It said that US withdrawal from Afghanistan gave impetus to TTP activities with its base intact in the neighbouring country. It added that an overall rise in terrorism activities was being witnessed. “Peace talks emboldened the militants and their presence in Swat can be attributed to their efforts to gain pulse of locals and response by the state”, the document underlined. Giving the details, NACTA said Malakand Division was vulnerable due to central location and access to settled areas. The authority said that massive protests in Swat and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against the terrorist activities were a positive development. It added that locals, especially the political leadership, active against the militants need to be supported and protected through institutional mechanism. Nacta told the meeting, which met under the chair of Senator Mohsin Aziz, that the traditional routes of the militants had also been tracked and cleared with the deployment of additional forces. Meanwhile, the committee unanimously passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2022 with some amendments. The objective of the bill is to take cognizance of rise in cases of sexual exploitation and cybercrime against children in the light of the constitutional and international commitments of the govt. The bill seeks punishment on child pornography not less than 3 years and up to fourteen years as per the severity of the offence. AgEnciES

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