Pakistani Taliban cancels ceasefire amid military offensive in North Waziristan

The Pakistani Taliban has declared an end to a ceasefire that allowed the government to begin its military operation in the restive tribal region of North Waziristan, according to a statement released by the…

Pakistani Taliban cancels ceasefire amid military offensive in North Waziristan

The Pakistani Taliban has declared an end to a ceasefire that allowed the government to begin its military operation in the restive tribal region of North Waziristan, according to a statement released by the group. The operation began on Sunday, the exact timing of which had not been announced until Friday. “The ceasefire between the Afghan Taliban and Pakistan Taliban has come to an end today,” read the statement.

It is not yet clear whether the Taliban represents the power once held by the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, or if it is simply a splinter group. However, it does reflect the broader shift in political dynamics on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border over the past year. Prime Minister Imran Khan made a strong statement in favor of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process in January, while the Afghan Taliban has taken a less confrontational approach.

“It was nice that the [Pakistani Taliban] called their ceasefire because they were under pressure from the government and there were rumors that the government might attack their hideouts. In fact, the government wanted this peace process as well. But once again it has proved that our enemies have not accepted the writ of the government,” said Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa.

For its part, the Afghan Taliban has always indicated an openness to peace talks with the government in Kabul. However, following the announcement of a three-month ceasefire on May 2, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid hinted that his group was ready to make good on its pledge. “We are ready to participate in any peace talks, but the efforts needed to end the bloodshed in Afghanistan have to be put into place by the Afghan government. If it really wants to start peace talks, the process is not in vain if the Afghan government demonstrates a determination to start a serious dialogue and initiate serious negotiations with the Taliban,” he said at the time.

Read the full story at USA Today.

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