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Islamabad in talks with groups of Pakistani Taliban, PM Khan reveals

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that his government is in talks with some groups of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) with the aim of having the militants lay down their arms.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during an interview with Reuters in Islamabad, Pakistan June 4, 2021. (Reuters)

Pakistan has been talking with some groups within the umbrella Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant outfit, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said in an interview with TRT World.

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Khan said on Friday that the talks are taking place in Afghanistan and seek to see the militants laying down their weapons.

“We are in talks with some of the groups on a reconciliation process,” he said.

The PM said he is expecting a deal to come out of the talks but again nothing is certain. He also pointed out that he sees dialogue as the only solution and that the government will ‘forgive’ the militants if an agreement is reached.

When asked if the Afghan Taliban was helping in the process, Prime Minister Khan said that “the talks are taking place in Afghanistan, so in that sense yes.”

“I am anti-military solution, and as a politician, I believe political dialogue is the way ahead.”

“We forgive them and they can become normal citizens.”

This is not the first time a Pakistani official has hinted at a possible amnesty deal with the TTP.

President Arif Alvi last month said the Pakistani government could give amnesty to some TTP members if not involved with the armed group and don’t engage in criminal activities.

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