Pakistan

Pakistani clerics ‘fail to soften TTP’ in Kabul meetings


A delegation of Pakistani clerics that landed in Kabul a day earlier has reportedly failed to convince the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to soften their stance and shun violence against the state of Pakistan.

The delegation, led by Mufti Taqi Usmani, flew into Kabul in a C-130 plane on Monday to meet the TTP leadership.

The 13-member delegation included religious scholars belonging to different sects from across the country including Karachi, Lahore, and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. They met the TTP chief Mufti Noor Wali and other leaders of the group from the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

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The delegation was briefed about the state of Pakistan’s demands during a meeting with the Corps Commander Peshawar at the Corps Headquarters before it flew to Kabul.

During the meeting, the clerics urged the TTP leadership to withdraw their demand for the reversal of Fata merger, but they refused to budge.

The clerics cited several religious edicts of the Wifaqul Madaris against waging war against the Islamic State of Pakistan.

In response, the TTP reiterated their demands put forth in various meetings with the Pakistani negotiators and jirga of tribal elders from Pakistan.

Also read: Pakistani Ulema in Kabul for talks with TTP

Sources in the TTP told The Express Tribune that the group could not trust the clerics in the absence of concrete assurances from the military establishment which, according to them, wielded the actual power.

They also said that the banned outfit put forth an “eight-point rationale” for their refusal to shun violence against the state of Pakistan while politely refusing to entertain Mufti Taqi Usmani's request.

Also read: Dealing with TTP

A source in the clerics' team also said that the leadership of the banned organisation listened to them patiently but refused to accept their demand.

The delegation would stay in Kabul until Wednesday (today) for making a last-ditch effort to convince the group to soften their stance, but the chances of them showing flexibility remain slim.

Pakistan calls upon the TTP leadership to give up violence against state institutions, disband their organisation and return to their areas with a promise of amnesty for their past crimes.


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