UN voices ‘concern’ over TTP’s move to end ceasefire

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The United Nations (UN) has rung alarm bells over the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP’s) decision to call off a truce with the government and threaten new attacks on innocent civilians to gain control over key swathes of the northern areas.

“Well, that would be most unfortunate if that is, in fact, true,” UN Secretary-General’s spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said in response to a question on whether he thinks it is a thing of concern at a regular noon briefing at the UN Headquarters in New York.

“I personally haven’t seen those reports, but obviously, any action that leads to increased violence that could lead to an increase in acts of terrorism and increase suffering for civilians is something that is of great concern to us.”

The UN spokesman’s statement comes a day after the TTP called off their months-long ceasefire with Pakistan, sending law enforcement as well as intelligence agencies reviewing strategies to help them pre-empt militants’ strike.

The TTP leadership cited the latest military operation against their fighters in the Lakki Marwat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as a reason behind calling off their ceasefire in the country, the outfit’s spokesman and other senior leaders confirmed to The News.

Several rounds of talks were held with the Taliban leaders in Afghanistan to find an amicable solution to the years-long armed conflict. Religious leaders and tribal elders were also involved and sent to Kabul to persuade the TTP to soften their demands. The militants had lately withdrawn from certain demands but they wanted the government to restore the previous status of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and their armed return to Pakistan.