Pakistani authorities have declined an offer from the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to resume talks, citing their previous negative experience with dialogue, media reports said.
The TTP, through various sources and individual contacts, expressed their willingness to re-engage in talks in recent days. However, the government rejected the offer and instead urged the militants to surrender, according to sources, The Express Tribune reported.
The government had engaged in talks with the proscribed TTP last year at the insistence of the Afghan Taliban government in Kabul. For that purpose, a ceasefire was also announced.
However, the TTP unilaterally terminated the truce in November last year, a few days before the appointment of General Asim Munir as the new army chief of Pakistan.
Subsequent to the ceasefire’s termination, a wave of attacks on police, security personnel, and government installations ensued, with particular emphasis on the southern districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. These targeted attacks were attributed to the TTP, Express Tribune reported.
A senior government official revealed that during the previous rounds of talks, Afghanistan’s acting Interior Minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, acted as a mediator. However, it is important to note that he did not hold the role of guarantor in those discussions.
The Pakistani authorities have made it explicitly clear to the TTP that individuals willing to surrender are welcome to do so, the officials said, adding that Pakistan sustained losses whenever it engaged in talks with them.
The current coalition government, since assuming power, has attributed the ongoing wave of terrorism in the country to the talks held between the then-ruling PTI government and the TTP. In response to parliamentary directives, a committee was formed on this matter, headed by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif. However, no meetings of the committee have taken place thus far.
The Pakistani government has been urging the Afghan Taliban to take action against the TTP. As part of this effort, the Kabul government has detained or deported several TTP leaders, Express Tribune reported.