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TTP chief asks fighters to resume attacks against Pakistan government
The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant outfit has declined to extend the month-long ceasefire with the Pakistan government, accusing it of failing to honour the decisions reached earlier. The announcement has put the nascent peace efforts into the doldrums, Dawn news reported.
According to the TTP statement issued on Thursday, the Imran Khan-led government not only failed to implement the decisions reached between the two sides but to the contrary, the security forces conducted raids in Dera Ismail Khan, Lakki Marwat, Swat, Bajaur, Swabi and North Waziristan and killed and detained militants.
"Under these circumstances, it is not possible to extend the ceasefire," the TTP said.
Earlier in an audio message, Mufti Noor Wali Mahsud announced an end to the ceasefire and asked his fighters to resume attacks past 12 a.m..
The ceasefire had come into effect on November 9.
In the audio, Mufti Noor says that since the TTP has not heard back from the mediators or the government, therefore, past midnight, his fighters reserve the right to resume attacks wherever they were.
A statement issued by the TTP late in the evening gave out details of the six-point agreement that it said it had reached with the government under the aegis of the Taliban-led "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" (IEA) on October 25, 2021.
The two sides, according to the agreement, had accepted that the IEA would play the role of a mediator and that both sides would form five-member committees each which, under the supervision of the mediator, would discuss the next course of action and demands of each sides.
Ceasefire or cessation of hostilities has remained enforced with no major violations.
The TTP-led militant attacks inside Pakistan which had seen a dramatic spike in the immediate aftermath of Afghan Taliban's takeover in mid-August have seen a steady decline, according to data available with Dawn news.
Both sides, it said, had also agreed to observe a month-long ceasefire from November 1 to 30 and that the government would release 102 "imprisoned mujahideen" and hand them over to the TTP through the "IEA and that both sides would issue a joint statement regarding the ceasefire on November", the report said.
The TTP's decision to end the ceasefire is a big setback to the Pakistan government efforts to secure a peace agreement with the militants waging war against the state for decades.