The government has reportedly released more than 100 Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) prisoners as a ‘goodwill gesture’ in response to the month-long ‘ceasefire’ announced by the outlawed group earlier this month.
Tribune reported that a security official confirmed this development. The official said that the prisoners were not released in response to any demand made by the TTP but as facilitation in the ongoing peace process.
A majority of the prisoners, the official said, were undergoing a rehabilitation and deradicalisation program at a government facility. However, many of them had not completed the six-month program.
The official further clarified that the current round of talks taking place between the government and the TTP were not direct, rather they were being facilitated by mediators. The Afghan foreign minister had also recently confirmed that the Kabul government was mediating between the government of Pakistan and the TTP.
However, the TTP spokesperson has reacted to the news item, terming it ‘incorrect’.
Earlier this month, on November 8, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had announced that a ceasefire had been agreed upon between the TTP and the government of Pakistan.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain had said that talks were being held within the ambit of the constitution. He added that the ceasefire had come about as a result of mediation by the interim Afghan government. Prime Minister Imran Khan had revealed that the government was holding talks with the outlawed TTP in an interview to TRT World on October 1.
Despite the ‘ceasefire’, the TTP attacks continue.