Kabul vows to continue mediation between Pakistan, TTP

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The Islamic Emirate says it will continue to act as a mediator between the Pakistani government and Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an insurgent group in Pakistan, with the aim of ensuring stability in the region.

“Based on its main and permanent policy of supporting security and stability in the region, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has continued to mediate between the Pakistani government and the Tehrik-i-Taliban and is still continuing its efforts and hopes for good results,” said Inamullah Samangani, a spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.

After the arrival of more than 50 ethnic leaders from seven Pakistani tribal regions in Kabul, TTP issued a statement, urging the Pakistani government to withdraw its soldiers from the tribal areas to negotiate a ceasefire.

TTP also sought the entire liberation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s tribal areas from the Pakistani army.

“They want the release of all their prisoners (102 prisoners). They mentioned this at the beginning of the talks that include their elders. They also called for the reverse of the cases that have been forged against them,” said Tahir Khan, a Pakistani reporter.

In recent months, the Islamic Emirate has often mediated between the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and the Pakistani government, but Pakistani tribal elders have stated that their trip to Kabul is intended to agree on an extended ceasefire with the assistance of the Islamic Emirate.

“Pakistan wants to give the group international credibility and then use the talks as a bargaining chip to lift international sanctions against the group if it agrees,” said Asadullah Nadim, an analyst on military affairs.

In the last 14 years, TTP has consistently asked for the repeal of stringent laws, the release of its members by the Pakistani government and a reduction in Pakistani military presence in tribal areas.

The Islamic Emirate has hosted and mediated talks between the Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Pakistani government, Islamic Emirate’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said, adding that there has been good progress in negotiations and that both sides agreed on a short-term ceasefire.

Earlier, there were reports suggesting that Pakistan’s head of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Faiz Hameed and a top military official of Pakistan were visiting Kabul for talks with Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

“Talks were held in Kabul between the government of Pakistan and the Taliban Movement of Pakistan with the mediation of the Islamic Emirate,” Islamic Emirate’s Spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said. “In addition to making significant progress on related issues during the talks, a temporary ceasefire was also agreed upon.”

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan strives for the goodwill of the negotiating process and wishes both sides tolerance and flexibility,” he added

The exact location of the negotiations has yet to be clarified but some unconfirmed reports indicated that a delegation from Pakistan has been present in Kabul since last week.

“The TTP is a group which came to Afghanistan from Pakistan. If the ongoing negotiations in Kabul succeed in finding a solution for the dispute between the Pakistani (parties), we will be out of a major dispute,” said Torek Farhadi, a political analyst.

“I think the Pakistanis have many goals in such meetings. First, they want to show the world that Afghanistan could be a threat to Pakistan,” said Javid Sangdel, an international relations analyst. The negotiation comes as earlier Pakistan accused Kabul of providing shelter for the TTP. But the Islamic Emirate denied Pakistan’s claim.—Tolonews