Conflicts & War

Peace hopes fade as Pakistani Taliban ends ceasefire

By Amjad Ali

Islamabad, Dec 10 (EFE).- The unilateral decision of the Pakistan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to end the ceasefire reached with the government last month, has raised doubts on the possibility of lasting peace in the country and triggered concerns that this could heighten tensions with neighboring Afghanistan, ruled by another faction of the group.

On Nov. 8, a one-month ceasefire agreement mediated by the Afghan Taliban had come into effect, with the possibility of extension if both sides reached a long-termpact.

However as the deadline expired on Thursday night, the TTP pulled out of the ceasefire while accusing Islamabad of not fulfilling its commitments.

Although no incident has been reported so far, TTP chief Mufti Noor Wali Mahsud on Friday urged his fighters to resume attacks.

“Neither the negotiators nor the government have done anything, therefore, past midnight, our fighters reserve the right to resume attacks wherever they are,” he said in a statement.

So far, the Pakistani government has not responded to the development.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella of various tribal armed groups formed in 2007, has been fighting for years to overthrow the Islamabad government and impose their brand of Sharia law in the country.

An ally of the Afghan Taliban, the group has so far killed over 80,000 people according to official data, while also trying to assassinate Malala Yousafzai – who went on to become the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Laureate – in 2012.

Security analyst Talat Masood told EFE that the failure of the ceasefire is “a serious setback to government because it has failed to defeat the militancy completely through military operations and wanted to resolve the issue peacefully.”

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