In Pakistan, a ceasefire between the government and the local umbrella organization of the militant Islamist Taliban (TTP) came into force on Tuesday.
Islamabad – According to the TTP, the agreement is initially valid for one month. “We have decided to keep the ceasefire in order to pave the way for peace talks and to bring good news to the Pakistani people,” said the TTP on Monday evening. A few hours earlier, Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had announced the ceasefire with the Taliban in Islamabad.
The agreement was reached after a series of preliminary talks between Pakistani officials and representatives of the Pakistani Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan, both sides said. The Taliban-appointed Afghan interim minister of the interior, Siradschuddin Hakkani, who is wanted by the US Federal Police FBI, mediated the talks.
According to Pakistani sources, around 80,000 civilians and security forces have been killed in attacks by the Taliban in nearly two decades of violence. Militant Islamists had intensified their attacks on the security forces in recent weeks. The umbrella organization TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan) has claimed numerous attacks since August. There are fears that the Taliban’s takeover of power in neighboring Afghanistan in August could encourage similar groups. (dpa)