Confusion prevailed Tuesday after foreign news agency quoted an unnamed senior TTP (Tehrike Taliban Pakistan) commander claiming that the movement has declared a ceasefire and halted attacks around the country since October in support of peace talks with the government.
Reacting to the news, the TTP spokesman Ihsan Ullah Ihsan strongly rejected the news and said the TTP has not made any such declaration. ?How can you believe the news when it doesn?t name the source,? he said, adding that the statement has neither been given by TTP Ameer Hakimullah Mehsud nor any other responsible member.
Staff reporter from Islamabad adds: The Pakistan Army Tuesday strongly denied news reports that it was engaged in negotiations with TTP or its affiliated groups.
A statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) strongly refuted news reports that claimed that the Pakistani government and military were engaging in peace talks that could end a wave of bombings. ?The army is not undertaking any kind of negotiations with TTP or its affiliated militant groups,? the ISPR spokesperson said. ?Such reports are concocted, baseless and unfounded,? he added. Any contemplated negotiation/reconciliation process with militant groups has to be done by the government, the spokesperson said.
However, adding credence to TTP was no other than Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who said the government was not directly holding talks with the Taliban, but some messages have been sent by Taliban, which should be reviewed by all the stakeholders.
The minister told reporters that ?few days back we also received a message from Taliban for talks and yes we also offered them. We are happy they have realized that killing of innocent people is wrong and the only way forward is the path of peace.? The minister said he cannot say much on this national issue and added that all the stakeholders would sit together to find an amicable solution.
He said the delegation of Afghan investigators will arrive in Pakistan to probe the killing of ex-Afghan President Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani, adding that government would extend required assistance to the investigators.
On the memo scam, Malik said the issue was under investigation and anyone found involved in the scam would be punished, adding that very soon everything will be clear.
He said that Ambassador Husain Haqqani?s name was not put on the ECL because the issue is under investigation.
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