Peshawar, May 19 (PTI) Afghanistan’s Taliban government has confirmed that it is playing the role of a mediator in the ongoing talks between the Pakistan government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan during which the dreaded militant group has demanded the release of 30 key commanders detained by Pakistani authorities.
Spokesman for Islamic state of Afghanistan Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed that the Afghan government was playing the role of mediator between Islamabad and the Pakistani Taliban. “Talks were held in Kabul between the government of Pakistan and the Taliban Movement of Pakistan with the mediation of the Islamic Emirate,” the spokesman tweeted on Wednesday, adding that a temporary ceasefire was also agreed upon.
Mujahid said the two sides made significant progress on related issues during the talks. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan strives for the goodwill of the negotiating process and wishes both sides tolerance and flexibility,” he tweeted. Earlier, TTP Spokesman Muhammad Khurasani in a statement released on their channel had said that both parties had agreed to ceasefire till May 30.
The TTP delegates had handed over a list of 30 key commanders to the Pakistani government to which Islamabad gave a positive response and assured to seriously consider the names. The TTP spokesman said the Afghan government led by the Taliban was playing the role of mediator in the talks. The TTP also held meetings with Mehsud Jirga comprising 32 people and Malakand Jirga consisting of 16 people, the militant group spokesperson added.
The TTP had earlier announced a 10-day ceasefire on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr after which the new process of talks had begun. The ceasefire was then extended for another five days. The hardliner terrorist group that wants to impose the rule of Shariat throughout Pakistan said the ceasefire would remain effective for a period of one month.
The talks process was started in November last year but could not succeed due to differences between the two parties. However, this time both the sides had been taking serious steps and it seemed the talks would be successful between the Pakistani Taliban and Islamabad delegation led by former ISI chief and current Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Faiz Hameed.
The TTP militants have been fighting with the security forces since 2008, when the outfit was set up, to press for the implementation of the Sharia laws in the country. However, the group is being pressed by the Afghan Taliban for talks with the Pakistan government to end the conflict.