Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said that the state will pursue talks with the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) organisation only within the framework of the Constitution of Pakistan. Speaking to a press conference after a meeting of the civil and military leadership in the federal capital Islamabad, Sanaullah also said that there would be an in camera briefing on the situation, and subsequently the Prime Minister will bring the parliament on board.
The interior minister added that talks with the banned militant group would take place under the guidance of Parliament.
Today’s national security meeting was informed about the progress of talks with the banned organisation. Those present were further told: “The decision in this regard will be made in the light of the Constitution, and with the approval of parliament, which will also provide guidance for the future and strike consensus on the matter.”
The Taliban-led regime in Afghanistan is currently facilitating peace talks between Pakistan and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Much of the TTP leadership is believed to be hosted by the Afghan Taliban. An indefinite ceasefire had already been agreed between the Pakistani state and the TTP, to provide space for negotiations, which, it is hoped, will bring an end to the now two-decade-long conflict in Pakistan’s north-western border regions. A large delegation consisting of a tribal jirga from Pakistan, as well as senior military officials, were known to have participated in the peace talks in Afghanistan.
Earlier, Foreign Minister and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has called for a meeting of allied parties on the issue of terrorism and emphasised his party’s view that all decisions on it must be taken by parliament.
In a report for The Friday Times – Naya Daur on the peace talks, experts and commentators have said that there are slim chances of these negotiations succeeding, due to the nature of the demands put forward by the TTP, as well as the fact that the militants are emboldened by the gains of the Afghan Taliban in the past year. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Farhatullah Babar had told TFT-ND that if an amnesty were indeed being granted to TTP members, it would be a “worrying” development as they have been involved in the killing of security forces and ordinary Pakistanis.