Pakistan and the TTP
- The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has proclaimed that it would not back down from its primary demand for reversal of the merger of the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province in 2018.
- The negotiations between the two parties have been held Since 2007. However, the talks have failed to bring stability and peace.
- The most recent round of negotiations started in 2021 when Pakistan President Dr. Arif Alvi said that the government would consider granting amnesty to TTP militants who lay down their arms, agree to uphold the Constitution, and have not continued to engage in “criminal acts.”
- After that, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) administration under Imran Khan declared that it was in negotiations with the TTP in order for its members to give up their weapons and mend fences in order “to be able to live like ordinary citizens.”
What is TTP’s demand?
- The basic demand of the Taliban has been the reversal of the merging of the two tribal provinces of Pakistan including FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
- The TTP is not a homogeneous organisation it comprises of various ethnic groups, the major one being the Mehsud Group.
- The Mehsud Group mainly consists of the Pashtuns an ethnic group present mostly in FATA and the KP regions of Pakistan.
- Due to the concentration of Pashtuns living in the FATA regions, both native and migrant, whose particular political grievances the TTP exploits, the TTP has recruitment and operational leverage.
- Second, the FATA region gives the TTP operational sway because of its cross-border, cross-national operating capability and its capacity to use Afghanistan as a safe haven by taking advantage of its connections with ethnically terrorist organisations like the Haqqani Network.
- In the ongoing talks, the Afghan Taliban have served as a mediator.
- They have insisted that they won’t go against the TTP at Pakistan’s request and that Islamabad would have to make a lot of concessions if a deal were to be reached with the organisation.
- The Taliban’s participation in the talks is due to Pakistan’s efforts to pressure the TTP into talks and its ongoing support of the TTP, which is valued for its assistance in fighting with the Taliban against the United States and the former Afghan government.
- The Taliban’s stand, however advantageous, could potentially represent a threat if the TTP gains control of the full land it is requesting, therefore their position is still uncertain.
Source The Hindu
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