PESHAWAR - Though Taliban have not announced formal extension in the ceasefire, it is expected that the release of 19 non-combatant prisoners by the government will enable them to do so.
At the peace committees’ meetings, Taliban demanded release of non-combatants reported to be into the forces’ custody, so it is hoped they may announce extension in the truce. It is pertinent to mention here that Taliban’s one-month ceasefire ended on March 31.
Earlier, while talking to media persons, TTP Committee Coordinator Maulana Yousuf Shah said the Taliban had not announced to end truce with the government, but added there were expectations that they would extend the ceasefire. Yousuf Shah said they were in contact with Taliban and hoped the talks would be fruitful. He noted a meeting between the government and Taliban committees was likely to be held today (Friday), hoping for its positive outcome.
Another member of the Taliban committee, Prof Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, talking to media persons, said it seemed the government was too much busy in Pervez Musharraf’s issue. “We are waiting for the government reply on the suggestions and demands made by TTP,” he added.
He asserted it was responsibility of the government to decide a date for another meeting to discuss the progress made so far, but the government did not contact them yet and “we are waiting for its reply.”
A day earlier, there were different statements from TTP on the ceasefire. In one such statement, TTP Spokesman Shahidullah Shahid had said a truce was no prerequisite for the peace talks whereas TTP Mohmand Agency’s amir Khalid Khurasani had claimed the ceasefire would not be extended.
Noting this difference in TTP’s statements, another Taliban political shura member Azam Tariq had issued a statement that Shahid and Khurasani had expressed their personal views, but it was not the stance of the banned organisation. He added a meeting of Taliban shura would soon decide on the ceasefire and the decision whatsoever was made would be announced by the TTP through media.