Pakistan, Afghan Taliban Discuss TTP ‘Resettlement’ In Key Meeting

Pakistan and Afghan Taliban are in discussions for a plan to ‘resettle’ the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in another push to address the perpetual issue of cross border terrorist attacks that have threatened the bilateral ties.

The idea of the resettlement came up from the Taliban side during the recent high-profile visit of Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt General Nadeem Anjum to the neighbouring country, according to a report by Kamran Yousaf.

It said the purpose of the visit was to let the Afghan Taliban know that Pakistan will not seek to hold talks with the banned outfit as the group used previous peace initiatives to regroup and target Pakistan.

In light of the apprehension, Kabul proposed a plan that involves disarming of the TTP and relocating the members from border areas. Unlike the previous such measures, this time, TTP members will be resettled inside Afghanistan.

Taliban, however, have asked Islamabad to bear the expenses of the plan, the report said adding that the execution part still poses a challenge. Also, Pakistan wants any such step to be completely irreversible.

At present, there are said to be some 8,000 to 12,000 TTP militants inside Afghanistan, and 30,000 if their family members are included.

During the visit, representatives of the Afghan government were provided with proof of presence of the militants inside Afghanistan and their location.

Pakistan faces intense pressure from TTP, whose fighters claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing in a mosque at the Peshawar police lines last month, and a recent attack on Karachi Police Office which lasted for at least four hours.

Over the past few months, the country’s security situation has worsened, with proscribed terrorist groups like the TTP, Islamic State group, Hafiz Gul Bahadur network, and Baloch separatists executing the attacks with impunity across the country.

The TTP ended its ceasefire with the government in late November 2022, ordering its members to carry out attacks in Pakistan.

March 4, 2023

Source: The Friday Times

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