As the talks between Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Pakistan government reach their final stages, a grand tribal jirga from Pakistan arrived in Kabul to join the ongoing negotiations aimed at finding a ‘permanent solution’.
The 50 member tribal jirga consists of elders from South Waziristan, Malakand division as well as the Khyber district, according to a report by Dawn News.
Former governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Shaukatullah Khan, who is also a part of the jirga, said that its role is “very important” in view of tribal traditions that are respected by both sides, adding that he was hopeful they will produce results.
Also part of the jirga are Federal Minister Sajid Hussain Turi, who hails from Kurram tribal district, and Special Adviser to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister for Information Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif, as well as Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Akhundzada Chatta.
The talks are being mediated by the Afghan Taliban government, and the Acting Prime Minister of the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA)’ Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund has expressed desires that both sides agree to an indefinite ceasefire.
It was reported on Tuesday that the Pakistani government and the TTP had agreed to extend the ceasefire between them without any cut-off date, but the official decision is expected to be announced today or tomorrow, according to TTP spokesman Mohammad Khurasani.
Some key demands being made by the TTP include the reversal of the FATA merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, introduction of Sharia regulation in Malakand, presidential pardon to two key militant TTP commanders as well as the disbandment of the TTP as a militant group.
Sources suggest the talks between the two sides have reached a ‘serious phase’.