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Talks underway with TTP in Afghanistan for reconciliation, reveals PM Imran

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan revealed on Friday that the government is currently in talks with the some factions of the proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to find grounds for reconciliation.

The premier, in an interview with TRT World’s Ali Mustafa in Islamabad, said: I think some of the Pakistani Taliban groups actually want to talk to our government. You know, for some peace, for some reconciliation.”

When asked to confirm whether talks between Pakistan and TTP are underway, PM Khan said that talks are being held “with some of them”.

He said that the Afghan Taliban are “helping” in the process, in the sense that the talks are being held in Afghanistan.

He said that if the talks for disbarment of the TTP go successful, the government will forgive them and they will become normal citizens.

Stressing that he hopes that some sort of deal to emerge with the TTP, the premier said: “I do not believe in military solutions. I am anti-military solutions. So I always believe that you know, as a politician, political dialogue is the way forward, which I always believed was the case in Afghanistan with the US.”

PM Khan said he always believed that a non-military solution was the only way forward to handle Afghan conflict.

In mid-September, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the government would be “open to giving” a pardon to members of the outlawed TTP if they end their terrorist activities and surrender to government’s writ.

Speaking to The Independent, the foreign minister expressed concerns overs the release of TTP militants from prisons in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover.

“If those guys come and start creating problems for us over here, it will affect innocent lives and we don’t want that,” Qureshi said while referring to the TTP.

He said that “if [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.”

“But as long as they do not come and start undertaking terrorist activities [in Pakistan]. That is our concern,” he emphasised.

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