Afghan authorities requested Pakistan to initiate talks with TTP: Fawad

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said Tuesday the interim Afghan government had requested Pakistan to initiate talks with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The banned TTP late Monday declared a one-month ceasefire, starting from November 9, hours after the information minister had announced that the government and the militant outfit had agreed to a complete ceasefire under the peace talks.
The state must talk from a position of strength with the militant outfit, the information minister said during a post-cabinet press conference, where he mentioned that the talks with the TTP would be in line with the constitution.
“TTP is not an organisation, it has several groups […] and the talks with them could be successful only after they accept the constitution,” the information minister said.
Chaudhry said the state had gone to war to establish peace in the country and through negotiations, it now wanted to permanently bring peace.
The information minister said the people living in merged districts wanted peace as the new generation had a changed perspective after witnessing their fathers’ and grandfather’s lives — which were spent in war.
“It is the state’s responsibility to bring peace.”
Chaudhry said peace was the ultimate goal of the government as it did not want instability in the areas where the TTP had a stronghold — and that “is what we are trying to do”.
The information minister said speaking in detail about the agreement would be premature, as the government and TTP have agreed to a ceasefire.
“First, the ceasefire will come into force, after that we will analyse and see how can we take the talks forward,” the information minister said.
The Afghan situation
Chaudhry said the new set-up in Afghanistan wanted peace in Pakistan ahead of acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi’s visit to the country.
The acting foreign minister is set to make his maiden visit to Pakistan on Thursday (November 11), Chaudhry said.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan had said that matters related to the economic crisis in Afghanistan and ease in visa regime would be discussed with the Pakistani authorities during the visit.
Chaudhry said Pakistan has decided to establish a special fund to support Afghanistan and Islamabad was ready to everything it can to help the Afghans during their hard times.
Three hundred million Afghans are suffering from malnutrition, children are being sold for rice and pulses, he said, stressing that the situation in the neighbouring country could not be overlooked.
Opposition should hold their horses
Taking a jibe at the Opposition, he said they would have to wait for a year or two, and after that, they would have to wait for another five years, as they have no program and no leader.
“You cannot achieve everything that you want through conspiracies […] I would first suggest the Opposition to stand on its feet and stop hatching conspiracies,” he said.
The information minister said the government’s position was “stable” and in the next two to three months the mounting inflation would also come down — and we will move toward the election in 2023.
Chaudhry said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) “group” comes out on the streets every year, as protests against the government were its activity during the winters.
Other matters
The information minister noted the price of petrol and gas were increasing across the world — not only in Pakistan but said the inflation would come down in the country.
The federal government is working on the mechanism of setting up a central helpline — 911.
The government has also decided to put Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation’s (PTDC) properties in Khyber Pakhtunkwa and Punjab on lease.

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