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Pakistan Reaches 'Complete Cease-Fire' With Local Taliban

Fawad Chaudhry (left) speaks to Imran Khan in 2018.

Pakistan has reached a one month "complete cease-fire" with the banned Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a government minister has said.

State television on November 8 quoted Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry as saying negotiations with TTP, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, were ongoing and the cease-fire would be extended, depending on the progress of talks.

"The talks will focus on state sovereignty, national security, peace, social and economic stability in the areas concerned," he said.

Chaudhry added that Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers played a role in facilitating the talks.

In a statement, TTP spokesman Muhammad Khurasani confirmed the cease-fire beginning on November 9 will remain in place until December 9, during which both sides will form a committee to continue talks. He said both sides will adhere to the cease-fire.

The announcement comes a little over a month after Prime Minister Imran Khan said the government was holding talks with factions of the Pakistani Taliban to end nearly two decades of conflict.

"There are different groups which form the TTP and some of them want to talk to our government for peace. So, we are in talks with them. It's a reconciliation process," Khan told Turkish television channel TRT World on October 1.

The TTP is a separate militant group from the Afghan Taliban, which toppled the Western-backed government in Kabul in mid-August.

However, Pakistan's militant groups are often interlinked with those across the border in Afghanistan and both follow the same hard-line Sunni Islam.

The TTP is notorious for its attempt to kill Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl who went on to win the Nobel Prize for her work promoting girls education. It has also killed thousands of soldiers and civilians over the years in bombings and suicide attacks.

Among its attacks was a 2014 assault on a military-run school in Peshawar that killed 149 people, including 132 children.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, Dawn, and PTV News
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