ISLAMABAD – It seems as if after rounds of ‘successful’ dialogues with the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the federal government still does not know about the ‘real’ demands of militants.
The Federal Information Minister Parvaiz Rashid said the dialogue with the Taliban was moving forward and the government hoped that the peace initiative would yield results. “The government and the Taliban Shura will have their second face-to-face meeting in which we expect to learn about their real demands,” he said.
However, the outlawed TTP claimed that security forces have launched an operation in South Waziristan Agency and fighting has been ongoing for the last two days.
“The security forces are using helicopter gunships and heavy artillery to target TTP positions in the Bobar area,” Taliban Political Shura member Azam Tariq Mehsud told journalists by the phone from an undisclosed location.
He claimed that the security forces have suffered heavy casualties in the fighting. The claim, however, could not be verified independently because the area is inaccessible to journalists.
“Whenever the Taliban show seriousness in peace talks, the security forces launch operations against them,” Tariq said and also accused the security forces of torturing their colleagues in custody.
“We had declared a unilateral ceasefire for the success of peace talks,” he added. “Now, the ball is in the government’s court. It is for them to arrange the ‘negotiation table’.