End of ceasefire: top brass meets today

AFP

ISLAMABAD: The top government functionaries are to meet today (Thursday) in the backdrop of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s refusal to extend the ceasefire with the government. Sensing the gravity of the situation, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has summoned a high-level meeting today (Thursday) to discuss the issues of national security, internal affairs and latest development regarding peace talks with the TTP, top-level government functionaries told Daily Times. The top brass of the Pakistan Army has already shown reservations over the TTP’s demand to the government that it release its 400 prisoners, while the government has sought the freedom of civilian detainees from the TTP, in return. Talking to Daily Times, Taliban peace committee chief Maulana Samiul Haq said both the government and the Taliban agreed to take the dialogue to its logical end. “Despite the tension, we are hopeful that the two sides would soon begin exchanging goodwill gestures,” he said. However, TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, following a meeting of the TTP Shura, said the government did not give a satisfactory response to the Taliban’s 40-day ceasefire, adding that 50 of their detained members were killed during this time period. 
“We have decided not to extend the ceasefire. This has been the decision taken by the Taliban Shura,” he said, adding that if the government took a “serious” step, the TTP would respond. According to senior officials at the PM Secretariat, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif, Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Ashfaq Nadeem and ISI DG Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam, chief ministers of all four provinces and the federal cabinet members will participate in today’s meeting, which will be chaired by the prime minister. The interior minister and ISI DG will brief the political and military leadership over the ongoing peace measures.

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