ISLAMABAD - The country's major political factions except MQM and ANP welcoming the announcement of ceasefire by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has termed it as positive and result-oriented step.
The major religio-political parties went some extra miles in their comments as they stressed PML-N government to announce same kind of announcement of truce without any delay, considering it a way forward for peace in the country.
Two major political parties (ANP and MQM), rivals in political arena, in their controlled emotions refrained from sharing immediate comment on the situation. They also slightly hinted doubts over the intentions of TTP.
The TTP ostensibly after ongoing 'precision' strikes in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) has announced a month-long ceasefire with the Pakistani government. The TTP faction in its recent announcement appealed to all comrades to respect the decision and refrain from any activity during this period.
It would not be out of place to mention here the peace talks between the two committees stalled after the Taliban targeted Pakistan's security forces and civilians in several terrorist attacks. Following the deadlock, surgical strikes conducted by fighter jets and gunship helicopters were carried out targeting militant hideouts in the tribal areas.
The TTP announcement, which was not made by any peace committee member from government or TTP's nominated members, soon after flashing on TV channels gained attention of opposition and government parties. Most of them from opposition or government side took it as positive development for future strategy.
Commenting on TTP's announcement, major opposition party (PPP) considered it a positive development to bring peace in the country. "This announcement of ceasefire should not be limited for only one-month," said PPP senior member Taj Haider talking to The Nation. He further said that it was necessary to watch those elements which violated this agreement. "This should have been done much earlier to avoid such a situation," he said.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the second largest opposition party in National Assembly (NA), welcomed the ceasefire announcement as positive move towards peace. "We welcome it as a positive move towards peace," said PTI lawmaker Dr Shireen Mazari, adding that it will allow government to isolate and eliminate those opposed to dialogue.
Both Awami National Party and Muttahida Qaumi Party (MQM) refrained from making any statement on the TTP's truce. When contacted, MQM senior leader Nasir Jamal said that peace committee members had not informed through any formal channel. "It was not confirmed where this announcement was made," he said, adding that they were not in a position to comment on this vague information.
Having almost same feelings, ANP's lawmaker Zahid Khan said that TTP had many times made such kinds of announcements. "Wait for some days to watch their commitment, as earlier even agreements were violated," he added.
It would not be out of place to mention here that both the political factions are among the major affectees of terrorism. The workers of these parties have been victims of TTP.
Jamiat ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) hailed TTP ceasefire announcement. Maulana Fazlur Rahman even asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to convene an All Parties Conference immediately.
The government after consulting stakeholders reciprocate, dissolve two committees and use FATA mechanism. "The government should also announce Ceasefire and also keep an eye on those who try to sabotage peace process," said JUI-F spokesman, adding that there was need to ensure adherence by both the parties.
It is relevant here the JUI-F had distanced itself from being a part of TTP's nominated committee.
The religio-political party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) also welcomed the TTP's announcement of ceasefire, asking the government to take the same step to build understanding. "The government should call immediate meeting and announce truce to bring peace in the country," said senior JI leader Fareed Paracha, talking to this scribe.
When contacted, Maulana Ahmed Ludhyanvi from Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) welcomed the announcement of TTP. He asked the government to announce same kind of announcement without any delay. "This should have been done much earlier," he added.