Taliban deputy minister calls on TTP to negotiate with Pakistan

The Taliban’s deputy interior minister has urged the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to pursue negotiations rather than conflict, citing a lack of popular support for the group.

The TTP has been a longstanding contentious issue between the Taliban and Islamabad, their former ally. In a departure from usual positions, Mohammad Nabi Omari, during a visit to Khost province, encouraged the TTP to seek peace with Islamabad, highlighting the group’s comparative lack of civilian backing. “The Taliban or Mujahideen of Pakistan, who are in conflict with their own system, lack the civilian support that we have,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Defense Minister, Khwaja Asif, recently emphasized that insecurity would persist as long as Kabul allows TTP training camps and safe havens to operate. Asif, quoted by the Express Tribune, recounted his efforts to urge Taliban leaders to halt terrorism, though he found their proposals unfeasible.

Asif argued for normalizing the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan to international standards, reflecting on Pakistan’s past support for Afghanistan. “Our patience with the changing stance of the Afghan government is wearing thin,” he remarked.

Pakistan, which was among the first countries to engage with Kabul following the Taliban’s return to power, has yet to officially recognize the Taliban government. It also facilitated the transfer of the Afghanistan embassy in Islamabad to the Taliban and kept its embassy in Kabul operational.

However, relations have soured due to TTP attacks in Pakistan. Established in 2007, the TTP has had strategic and now familial ties with the Afghan Taliban, complicating the latter’s relationship with Islamabad.