Islamabad, June 4 (IANS) Pakistan has welcomed the ceasefire announced by the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), as the federal government for the first time publicly acknowledged it was negotiating a peace deal with the outlawed outfit, the media reported.
The confirmation from the government came a day after the TTP extended the ceasefire for an indefinite period after the Pakistani tribal jirga visited Kabul and held talks with the TTP leadership, Express Tribune reported.
Both sides have been holding talks for the last several weeks but the Pakistani side until now remained tight-lipped.
Questions were asked about whether the current government was on board with talks with the TTP as military officials held a series of meetings with the militant outfit in recent days in the Afghan capital.
Pakistan Federal Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb in a statement said the talks with the TTP were taking place at the government level.
“Talks with the TTP began in 2021 and these negotiations have been taking place at the government level,” the minister said in a statement confirming the peace talks with the banned group.
The minister also confirmed that the Afghan Taliban government was acting as a mediator between the two sides. She said civil and military representatives were part of the Pakistani side holding talks with the TTP.
She said the government welcomed the ceasefire announced by the TTP.
The truce was to expire on May 30 but the TTP extended it now for an indefinite period as both sides were trying to reach a peace deal.