Pakistani Taliban panel authorised to agree on ceasefire

Pakistani Taliban panel authorised to agree on ceasefire

The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has given its negotiators the authority to agree on a ceasefire if the government agrees to halt deployment of troops, sources said.

The authority was given to the Taliban committee coordinator, Maulana Samiul Haq, who is chief of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, in a communication to the group with Qari Shakeel, who is heading the nine-member monitoring committee of the TTP, the Dawn online reported Friday.

Shakeel said people kidnapped by the TTP, including Vice Chancellor of Islamia College University Ajmal Khan, Ali Haider Gilani, son of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, officials of the Water and Power Development Authority and Frontier Constabulary personnel, could be released if the government agreed to release TTP leaders.

Shakeel has told the Taliban committee that if the government stopped the deployment of troops in the region, a ceasefire can be agreed upon, sources said.

The state has arrested 43 senior Taliban leaders and some 800 Taliban members, Shakeel said, adding that if the government released the Taliban prisoners, the TTP would release those detained by it for their links with the government and security forces.

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