Pakistan’s prime minister on Friday revealed his government is in talks with some groups of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to persuade them to lay down arms and become normal citizens of the country.
In an interview with Turkish broadcaster TRT World, Imran Khan said the talks are underway in Afghanistan.
“In fact, I think some of the TTP groups actually want to talk to our government for peace, for some reconciliation, and we are in talks with some of the groups,” Khan revealed.
He said there are many groups in the TTP and some of them want to talk and his government is talking to them.
Responding to a question if the Afghan Taliban are helping his government in this process, Khan said "yes".
“In the sense that the talks are taking place in Afghanistan. In that sense yes,” he said.
The Pakistan premier said he does not believe in resolving issues through military operations.
“I repeat, I do not believe in military solutions. I'm anti-military solutions. So, I always believe that political dialogue is the way ahead which was the case in Afghanistan,” Khan said and hoped his government would reach a peace deal with the TTP groups.
“We are talking. We might not reach some sort of conclusion in the end, a settlement, but we are talking," Khan added.
Last month, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the country's foreign minister, also said that the Pakistani government would be open to giving pardons to the TTP members if they give up terrorist activities.
Pakistan has long been accusing a "nexus" of Indian and former Afghan intelligence agencies of patronizing the TTP and Baloch insurgents involved in cross-border attacks on its security forces.
The former Afghan government had denied the charges and itself accused Islamabad of patronizing the Taliban.
The TTP, an umbrella group of several militant outfits in Pakistan, was pushed to Afghanistan following a large-scale military onslaught in North Waziristan in 2014.
Last month, following the US troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover of Kabul, a delegation led by the head of Pakistan's premier spy agency – Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) – Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed visited Kabul and met Taliban leadership.