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Saturday January 28, 2023

UN voices ‘great concern’ over TTP’s move to end ceasefire

UN says any act that increases suffering for civilians is of great concern,

By Web Desk
November 29, 2022
UN Secretary-Generals spokesman Stephane Dujarric responds to journalists during a regular noon briefing at UN Headquarters in New York. — UN/File
UN Secretary-General's spokesman Stephane Dujarric responds to journalists during a regular noon briefing at UN Headquarters in New York. — UN/File

GENEVA: The United Nations (UN) has rung alarm bells over the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP's) decision to call off a truce with the government and threaten new attacks on innocent civilians to gain control over key swathes of the northern areas.

“Well, that would be most unfortunate if that is, in fact, true,” UN Secretary-General’s spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said in response to a question on whether he thinks it is a thing of concern at a regular noon briefing at the UN Headquarters in New York.

“I personally haven’t seen those reports, but obviously, any action that leads to increased violence that could lead to an increase in acts of terrorism and increase suffering for civilians is something that is of great concern to us."

The UN spokesman's statement comes a day after the TTP called off their months-long ceasefire with Pakistan, sending law enforcement as well as intelligence agencies reviewing strategies to help them pre-empt militants’ strike.

The TTP leadership cited the latest military operation against their fighters in the Lakki Marwat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as a reason behind calling off their ceasefire in the country, the outfit’s spokesman and other senior leaders confirmed to The News.

Recently TTP militants became active in southern parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and particularly in South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Tank and Dera Ismail Khan. They admit that 600-700 fighters were present in Swat recently.

The government had to postpone the polio campaign in Lakki Marwat district on Monday due to frequent attacks by the militants on police and the operation launched against them.

Several rounds of talks were held with the Taliban leaders in Afghanistan to find an amicable solution to the years-long armed conflict. Religious leaders and tribal elders were also involved and sent to Kabul to persuade the TTP to soften their demands.

The militants had lately withdrawn from certain demands but they wanted the government to restore the previous status of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and their armed return to Pakistan.