Pakistan

Taliban Warn TTP to Stop Attacks on Pakistan, Seek Dialogue

The Taliban government in Afghanistan has urged the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a militant group that operates from Afghan territory, to halt its attacks on Pakistan and pursue peaceful dialogue instead.

This was revealed by a Pakistani delegation that visited Kabul recently, led by Maulana Hamid-ul-Haq, the head of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Sami), a religious party. The delegation met with several Taliban leaders, including Prime Minister Mulla Muhammad Hassan, Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, and Minister for Refugees Khalil-ul-Rehman Haqqani.

According to Asrar Madani, the head of the International Research Council for Religious Affairs, who coordinated the visit, the Taliban government had convened a meeting with the TTP leadership about four weeks ago, in which they expressed their displeasure over the TTP’s use of Afghan soil to launch attacks on Pakistan.

The Taliban told the TTP that such acts have damaged the relations between the two countries and the two peoples, and asked them to stop the violence. The Taliban also suggested that the TTP should resume dialogue with the Pakistani government, as a way to resolve their grievances and improve the situation.

The TTP, which aims to overthrow the Pakistani state and impose a strict version of Islamic law, has been waging a bloody insurgency since 2007. It has claimed responsibility for several deadly attacks on Pakistani security forces and civilians, as well as some Chinese interests in Pakistan.

The TTP has also pledged allegiance to the Afghan Taliban’s supreme leader, Maulvi Hibatullah Akhundzada, and considers itself a branch of the Taliban movement in Pakistan. However, the Afghan Taliban have distanced themselves from the TTP’s activities, and have assured Pakistan that they will not allow their soil to be used against any country.

The Pakistani delegation’s visit to Kabul was the second high-profile one after Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl), another religious party, who went there in January. The visits are seen as part of the efforts to enhance cooperation and trust between Pakistan and Afghanistan, after the Taliban’s takeover in August last year.

Another issue that was discussed during the visit was the repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan, which the Taliban government said was being done in haste and without consultation. The Taliban said that many of the refugees, who had lived in Pakistan for decades, were facing difficulties in adjusting to the changed conditions in Afghanistan, and appealed to Pakistan to be more patient and compassionate.

Pakistan hosts about three million Afghan refugees, of whom about half are registered. Pakistan has said that it wants to send them back to their country, citing security and economic reasons. Pakistan has also accused some of the refugees of being involved in terrorist and criminal activities, and has intensified its crackdown on them.

Pakistan and Afghanistan share a long and porous border, and have a history of complex and often strained relations. Both countries have accused each other of supporting militant groups and interfering in each other’s affairs. However, both sides have also expressed their willingness to work together for peace and stability in the region.

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