The terrorist outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Thursday announced to extend the ‘coveted’ ceasefire for an indefinite period following the release of its 19 non-combatant prisoners on Wednesday.
“The central shura (core committee) of the Taliban has unanimously decided to hang fire so that peace negotiations can endure until consensus is reached”, TTP negotiation committee member Yousuf Shah confirmed.
A private TV channel quoted Shah as saying that the Taliban were bound to honour their agreement with the government, but it was also essential for the latter to implement the TTP’s demands it accepted during the earlier meeting. He added that both the sides were likely to come to the table today (Friday).
“We hope a positive headway is in the making,” Shah said. The Taliban’s month-long ceasefire ended on March 31.
Meanwhile, South Waziristan’s political administration had released 19 Taliban prisoners on Wednesday as part of a goodwill gesture.
The released inmates are: Mera Jan, Abdullah Jan, Salamat Khan, Bandshah Gul, Abdul Aziz, Noorzada, Satta Jan, Saddam Hussain, Ziauddin, Sherpao, Riaz Ali, Mir Alam, Sher Alam Khan, Iqbal, Noor Alam.
Moreover, South Waziristan Agency (SWA) Political Agent Islam Zeb also confirmed the release of prisoners.
“They are innocent tribesmen, who were taken into custody during search operations,” he added.
He said these men were freed after Senator Saleh Shah vouched for them and it had nothing to do with the peace process.