Kabul holds peace talks between TTP and Pakistan!
The Afghan Taliban said on Wednesday it was hosting peace talks between officials in Pakistan and the Taliban-inspired militant group that has fought Islamabad for more than a decade.
Since the Afghan Taliban came to power last year, Islamabad has complained of attacks by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), especially on the mountainous border with Afghanistan.
The TTP is a domestic movement, but shares similar roots with the new rulers of Kabul, who have claimed that Pakistan has allowed its fighters to launch attacks from Afghan soil.
Government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, using the self-styled name of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, said, “The talks were held in Kabul between the government of Pakistan and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, mediated by the Islamic Emirate.”
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, in good faith, strives for a successful dialogue process and expects both sides to be tolerant and flexible,” he said on Twitter.
In a statement, the group also confirmed that “negotiations are ongoing” under the guidance of the Afghan Taliban.
A ceasefire already agreed to for the Islamic festival of Eid will also be extended until May 30, the statement said.
A militant source told AFP that “negotiations have taken place in a positive atmosphere in Kabul” but it was “too early to draw any conclusions”.
Pakistan government officials have yet to comment on the talks.
The official discussion could be a sign that the Taliban is trying to end bad relations with neighboring Pakistan.
The mountainous region between Afghanistan and Pakistan has long been a hotbed of militant activity, with the border becoming a source of friction since the Taliban came to power in August.
Islamabad has repeatedly claimed that its forces have been targeted by fighters across the international border.
Last month, Afghan officials said 47 people were killed in a Pakistani airstrike in eastern Afghanistan.
Pakistan did not comment on the attack but urged Kabul to secure its border to prevent terrorist operations.
The Afghan Taliban called the attack a “brutalism” that is “paving the way for hostility between Afghanistan and Pakistan”.
Last year, Pakistan held peace talks with the TTP during the one-month-long ceasefire, but eventually the deal fell through.