Taliban calls for Islamabad-TTP talks via Doha office: Report

Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada has urged the resumption of talks between Islamabad and the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) through the Taliban’s political office in Doha.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl in Pakistan, delivered this message from Akhundzada after returning from a six-day trip to Afghanistan.

During his visit, Rehman engaged in public and confidential meetings with Taliban officials and opponents of the Pakistani government, focusing on addressing the TTP issue between Islamabad and the Taliban.

Former Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan, Aziz Ahmed Khan, expressed optimism about potential talks, emphasizing the need for opponents of the Pakistani government to amend their behavior, surrender weapons, and repent. Khan clarified, “Talking to the TTP is acceptable, but negotiating with them is not. We cannot grant them that status where negotiations imply concessions. We should make it clear that amnesty may be considered if they behave, surrender arms, and choose the path of repentance. Beyond that, no further concessions should be offered.”

However, Islamabad maintains its position of suppressing the TTP and calls on the Afghan Taliban to take action against the group, especially following deadly attacks on Pakistani military personnel in early 2024.

The Express Tribune also reported that Rehman held separate meetings with Noor Wali Mehsud, the leader of the TTP in Pakistan, and Hafiz Gul Bahadur, the leader of the Gul Bahadur militant group in Afghanistan. The details of these meetings remain undisclosed.

Islamabad continues to urge the Taliban to hand over the leaders of the TTP and Gul Bahadur group to the Pakistani government.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry clarified that despite Rehman’s visit to Kabul being a personal one, he will share the details of his visit with Pakistani authorities.