LAHORE - Pounded from the skies and choked from the ground, the TTP leadership is most likely to express their willingness for resumption of unconditional dialogue for peace very soon, The Nation has learnt.

Informed sources told this correspondent Wednesday that recent intensive surgical airstrikes and special ground operations against the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has demoralised their ranks and eroded their leadership’s ‘will to resist’.

The pro-peace groups among the 43-member umbrella militant organisation are pressing the anti-peace elements to resume talks with the state unconditionally or be ready to evaporate into the thin air.

“Yes, it is true that they have received some indirect messages from TTP leadership who are ready to resume dialogue without imposing any conditions,” a senior government peace committee member confirmed to The Nation.

TTP leadership is running out of time and the targeted strikes and operations could turn into a full offensive anytime if the pro-peace Taliban failed to make quick and successful efforts to overcome the influence of their anti-peace companions.

TTP-named negotiating team coordinator Yusuf Shah, when asked about unconditional resumption of peace talks from TTP side, said, “If such a development takes place in the near future, it will not be for media consumption and the developments would be kept of public eye till the time both the parties reach an agreement.”

When pressed upon for a direct reply, he said, “Being the coordinator of the peace committee for TTP, I am not allowed to disclose the sensitive developments to the news media.” He insisted the matters with TTP could only be resolved through dialogue and “we are making sincere efforts to achieve this goal and we will inform the nation through media as soon as we get something concrete”.

Answering a query about the possible timeframe for bringing peace in the tribal region through force if dialogue fails, the government team member said “we can restore peace one by one in each troubled agency of the tribal region and it is not necessary that scattered terror elements would all be targeted in a single grand operation”. He said, “Once we succeed in isolating the anti-peace elements, the local tribal lashkars will take care of them.”

State intelligence apparatus through its eavesdropping have enough evidence regarding hustle bustle among the TTP ranks after the aggressive surgical airstrikes and special operations against the militants who are unwilling to embrace peace. A top security official talking to this scribe said that anti-peace elements would either be neutralised or captured, or forced to surrender, as they have no other option at their disposal.

When asked about enemies of Pakistan inside Afghanistan, he informed that such persons who are roaming around in Nangarhar and Kunar would better talk with Islamabad unconditionally, as intensive targeted strikes in the tribal region which eliminated their terror dens have badly damaged their hold on this side of the border, as is evident from the killing of Asmat Ullah Shaheen.

When pointed out the TTP spokesman’s warning that they were ready to face military action, he confidently said it is a kind of threat coming from a retreating enemy who is trying to create an impression that he is still in very much control but on-ground facts belie it. He informed that some mid-ranking leaders of the TTP have tried to make contacts with mediators in the tribal region for offering surrender.