Govt is engaging with TTP factions for peace, reconciliation: PM

Prime Minister Imran Khan has revealed that the government of Pakistan was in the process of dialogue with some of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) factions for “peace and reconciliation”.

In an interview with TRT World, the premier said that some groups wanted to talk to the government for peace and reconciliation. "There are different groups which form TTP and we are in talks with some of the groups," he added.

To a question regarding the help the government was getting from the Afghan Taliban, PM Imran Khan said yes, since the talks were taking place in Afghanistan.

Can Pakistan PM Imran Khan convince the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan to lay down arms? Here is what Khan had to say in an exclusive interview to TRT World’s Ali Mustafa in Islamabad
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) October 1, 2021

The interviewer then asked if the government was asking these groups to lay down arms to which the prime minister responded: "Yes, and then we forgive them and they become normal citizens."

Read more: Govt considers amnesty for TTP members: Qureshi

PM Imran reiterated his stance that he does not believe in a military solution. "I always believe that political dialogue is the way ahead which I always believe was the case in Afghanistan," he added.

To a question regarding recent attacks on security forces by TTP despite the initiation of dialogues, the prime minister said that the process was ongoing, suggesting there was no guarantee that it would reach any conclusion.

Also read: New Afghan setup expected to take steps against TTP: DG ISPR

"We might not reach some sort of conclusion or settlement in the end but we are talking," he maintained.

Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had also said that the government was open to giving a pardon to TTP members if they renounce violence, accept writ of the state and commit to the constitution.

He said that Pakistan was concerned over the release of TTP members from Afghan prisons after the Taliban took control of the country.

"If they [the TTP] are willing to mend fences and not take the law into their hands and not get involved in terrorist activities and they submit and surrender to the writ of the government and the Constitution of Pakistan, we are even open to giving them a pardon," Qureshi said.

Earlier, President Arif Alvi had also made a similar statement, saying the government could announce conditional amnesty for the proscribed group's members.

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)