Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has revealed that his government is in talks with the banned terror group Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for “reconciliation” with the help of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The TTP, commonly known as the Pakistani Taliban, is a banned terrorist organization along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
There were reports that the Afghan Taliban had released some feared TTP terrorists, including Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, after taking Afghanistan in August.
In an interview with Turkish government-owned news channel TRT World, Imran Khan said there are several terror groups that make up the TTP and some of them want to talk to the Pakistani government for peace, Pakistan’s Dawn News reported Friday.
“So we are in talks with them. It is a reconciliation process,” the Imran Khan said.
Asked if the government asked the terrorists to lay down their weapons, Imran Khan said: “Yes, we forgive them and they become normal citizens.”
When asked why the TTP launched attacks on Pakistani security forces when they were in talks with the government, he said it was just a “wave of attacks”.
“In the end we may not come to some sort of conclusion or settlement, but we are talking,” Imran Khan added.
In response to another question as to whether the Afghan Taliban acted as a mediator between the TTP and Pakistan, the Imran Khan said: “Since the talks took place in Afghanistan, so in that sense, yes.”
The Taliban moved through Afghanistan in August, taking control of nearly all major cities and towns against the backdrop of the US troop withdrawal that began on May 1.
On August 15, the capital Kabul fell into the hands of the terrorists. The Taliban claimed victory over the opposition in the last province of Panjshir on September 6, completing the takeover of Afghanistan three weeks after taking Kabul.
The Taliban have established a hardline interim 33-strong so-called “cabinet” that has no women and that includes several UN-designated terrorists. The Taliban last ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.
Earlier in September, Pakistani President Arif Alvi had suggested that the Pakistani government might consider granting amnesty to the TTP terrorists who had not remained involved in “criminal activity” and who had laid down their weapons and agreed to abide by Pakistan’s constitution hold.