• Top military officials brief political leadership on progress in talks
• Dialogue only within the ambit of the Constitution: Prime Minister’s Office
• Parliament’s session will be closed on camera on the issue: Sana
ISLAMABAD: The military has assured the political leadership that the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) will not be given any additional constitutional concessions in the ongoing talks and any deal with the terror group will be subject to parliamentary approval.
This assurance was given by the military leadership in a meeting with political leaders at the Prime Minister’s residence on Wednesday.
In a statement issued after the meeting, the PM’s office said: “The decision will be made in the light of the Constitution of Pakistan with the approval of Parliament, the future guidance provided and the consequential consent.”
This was the first meeting between the national political leadership and the military. Conversation With the illegal TTP in Afghanistan with the help of the Afghan Taliban on this issue. then arranged Protest by the Pakistan People’s Party, a key participant in the ruling coalition, for not talking about the talks.
From the setting up of the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the military leadership on one side and government ministers on the other, it looked like a National Security Committee (NSC) meeting, but it was a ‘big session’. political leadership.
Political leaders who attended the meeting included PPP leader and former president Asif Ali Zardari, ANP’s Amir Haider Hoti, PTM’s Mohsin Davar, BAP’s Khalid Magasi, independent MNA from Balochistan Aslam Bhutani, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf and Sindh K. Chief Minister Murad Ali was present. Shah. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which had resigned from the National Assembly but is represented in the Senate, was not invited to the meeting. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, who belongs to PTI, was also not invited.
Federal cabinet members who attended the meeting were Ayaz Sadiq, Rana Sanaullah, Maryam Aurangzeb, Mifta Ismail, Asad Mahmood and Israr Tareen.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Nadeem Raza and the Army Chief were also present on the occasion.
Initially there were reports that the briefing on the TTP talks would be given at a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security. The PMO’s statement kept the nature of the meeting unclear, calling it a “national security meeting”.
Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Faiz Hamid, who is leading the TTP talks, and ISI Director General Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum briefed the participants of the meeting.
Negotiations with the TTP began in October 2021 on the demand of the Afghan Taliban and a one-month ceasefire was initially agreed upon, but broke down in December after the militant group withdrew from the talks and refused to pursue the ceasefire on the pretext . Pakistani officials were not fulfilling their commitments.
Encouraged by the support and patronage of the Taliban, the TTP launched a series of attacks to put pressure on the Pakistani armed forces. According to the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies database, the TTP carried out around 46 attacks this year, mostly against security forces, in which 79 people were martyred.
negotiation process was secretly revived In April, the TTP declared a ceasefire on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. As matters progressed, the ceasefire continued to be extended and currently sees a three-month end to hostilities. Meanwhile, negotiations continued, assuming a more public profile, with the participation of tribal elders, some Pashtun politicians and clerics.
During the talks, Pakistani officials are demanding the disbanding of the terrorist organization, arms and respect to the Constitution, while the TTP is demanding the withdrawal of security forces from the erstwhile tribal areas, the 2018 merger of tribal agencies with Khyber to cancel Pakhtunkhwa, the release of its fighters and compensation for the damage caused. However, the group has somewhat softened its demand for Sharia implementation.
Military officials, in their briefing to the political leadership, emphasized that talks were being held within the framework of Pakistan’s constitution. He said the TTP was told that no agreement could be reached on the merger of tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, although he indicated that discussions were on on other demands.
He resolved to successfully conclude his talks with the TTP at the earliest.
The PMO said, “The political leadership expressed satisfaction with the strategy and progress made to deal with the issue.”
Along with Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said at a press conference after attending the meeting that the parliamentary committee and political leadership were comprehensively briefed on the situation relating to the TTP and the Afghanistan border during the meeting, which was chaired by PM did it. ,
“It has been decided that the Parliament session will be called in a closed room and the Leader of the House, the Prime Minister, will take the House on board. Members will be made aware of the briefing. The ongoing negotiations will be carried forward under the guidance and ownership of Parliament.
“It has been decided in principle that the talks will take place under the Constitution. This is the basic principle. Peace will be achieved under the law and under the Constitution.”
Talking about PTI chairman Imran Khan’s corruption scandals, the minister said Mr Khan and the persons before him were being investigated by the relevant law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and action would be initiated as per law soon. , the APP connects.
He said the National Accountability Bureau, the Federal Investigation Agency and other relevant institutions are investigating his corruption. Everything will be brought on record once the investigation is complete, the minister told the presser.
He said that the coalition government does not believe in political witchcraft, but there were several corruption scams in which Imran Khan and the persons before him were directly involved.
Published in Dawn, June 23, 2022