Pakistani Taliban reject possible government amnesty
Islamabad, Sep 17 (EFE)- The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said Friday it would not accept an amnesty offer from the government.
President Arif Alvi and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi floated the idea of pardoning members of the extremist group that seeks to impose sharia law in Pakistan.
“We are proud of our struggle, and we never ask our enemies for forgiveness,” the TTP said in a statement.
The outlawed Islamist group reiterated its vow to not abandon “Islamic values or their weapons” at any cost in its fight to impose the strict medieval Islamic laws in Pakistan.
“We can announce amnesty for our enemies on the condition if they promise to impose sharia law or intend to do it,” the insurgent group said.
The statement came after Qureshi, in an interview, stated that the government was willing to forgive members of the insurgent outfit if they laid down their arms.
“If (the TTP) are willing to mend fences, not take law into their hands, not get involved in terrorist activities and they submit and surrender to the writ of the government and the constitution of Pakistan, we are even open to giving them a pardon,” Qureshi said last week.
A few days later, President Alvi, whose position is ceremonial, said Pakistan would consider the possibility for members of the TTP not involved in criminal acts and if they abandon the Taliban ideology and adhere to the constitution.
The TTP is an umbrella organization of various tribal groups formed in 2007 to impose an Islamic state in Pakistan and is an Afghan Taliban ally.
The group carried out a brutal terror campaign that killed some 80,000 people, the Pakistani government claims.
In late April, the Pakistani Taliban killed five people and wounded 15 others in a Quetta luxury hotel hosting the Chinese ambassador.
Terrorist violence has declined remarkably in Pakistan since the army launched an operation in the northwestern tribal areas in June 2014 and later expanded to the rest of the country.
The campaign weakened the TTP.
But in recent months, attacks have increased again, coinciding with the rise to power of the Afghan Taliban, who took control of Kabul in mid-August. EFE