Sat, 13 Aug 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], July 6 (ANI): In order to prevent Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) nexus, Pakistan on Tuesday formally endorsed the efforts aimed at seeking a peace deal with the banned organization TTP.

The Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) was compelled to seek a peace deal with the group involved in some of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the country, according to the closed-door briefing, reported The Express Tribune.

A statement issued by the PM Office said the Parliament's Committee on National Security on Tuesday formally gave a go-ahead for continuing talks with the TTP.

A Parliamentary Oversight Committee will be formed to monitor the entire process. The meeting termed it a first step toward the "National Grand Reconciliation Dialogue".

The development came after the military leadership told lawmakers that it was feared that the TTP might join hands with IS-K in an in-camera briefing for the members of parliament and other political leaders.

Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt General Nadeem Anjum and Peshawar Corps Commander Lt General Faiz Hameed briefed the PCNS about the talks with the TTP, reported The Express Tribune.

The in-camera meeting was attended by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and all other key political leaders. Fazlur Rehman, who is otherwise not a member of parliament, was also in attendance. Former prime minister Imran Khan was not invited to the meeting.

A participant of the meeting told The Express Tribune that Peshawar Corps Commander General Faiz Hameed gave a detailed briefing about the progress and background of the ongoing talks with the TTP.

Gen Faiz is heading the Pakistani team that held a series of meetings with TTP chief Noor Wali Masood in Afghanistan. The army chief answered most of the questions from the members of parliament and other participants.

According to the military leadership, if the TTP joins hands with IS-K, that would be devastating for the security of Pakistan, reported The Express Tribune.

Given the context of the ongoing talks, the meeting was told that it was Pakistan's air strikes in April targeting the TTP hideouts in Afghanistan that pushed the Afghan Taliban to bring the TTP onto the negotiating table.

The air strikes were carried out after the TTP stepped up cross-border terrorist attacks leaving several Pakistani security personnel dead.

It emerged during the meeting that the TTP put forward a series of demands, including reversal of the FATA merger, withdrawal of all cases against their people and freedom to operate from the erstwhile tribal areas, reported The Express Tribune.

The meeting ruled that the final results would be implemented after completing the due process while strictly adhering to the Constitution and with the approval of the government. (ANI)

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