A three-month ceasefire deal facilitated by the Taliban government in Afghanistan has been struck between the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and tribal leaders from Pakistan's restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan, according to a media report on Saturday.
The agreement was made during the first round of talks between the outlawed TTP and a 53-member jirga consisting of prominent Pakistani tribal jirga (council), which concluded in Kabul on Friday, according to the News International newspaper.
The TTP, also known as the Pakistan Taliban, is an umbrella organisation of various Islamist militant groups operating along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. It has pledged allegiance to the Afghan Taliban. The outfit's main aim is to impose its strict brand of Islam across Pakistan.
During the talks, both sides agreed to three-month ceasefire and continuation of the dialogue process, a member of the jirga told local media here on return from Kabul.
The TTP delegates remained firm on its demand of abolition of merger of tribal areas into settled parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. They also demanded the return of the outfit's members to Pakistan from Afghanistan.
However, no conclusion was reached on their return during the talks. The issue will be deliberated upon by the Pakistan government and security agencies in due course of time, the jirga member said.
Pakistan wanted the Taliban to dissolve their network, TTP -- a conglomeration of different militant factions, disassociate themselves with other militant organisations, accept Pakistan’s Constitution and return without arms, the News International reported.
The TTP, which is believed to be close to al-Qaeda, has been blamed for several deadly attacks across Pakistan, including an attack on army headquarters in 2009, assaults on military bases and the 2008 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.
Meanwhile, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Friday said the government welcomed the ceasefire between the tribal jirga and the TTP under the ongoing negotiations, which began in October 2021.
(With PTI inputs)