Pakistan announced on Thursday that it will not engage in dialogue with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch was asked about comments made by Afghanistan’s Taliban government spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid suggesting mediation between Pakistan and the TTP during her weekly press conference.
“If Pakistan wants us to mediate, and we know that it is beneficial, we will undoubtedly mediate because it benefits the region and we don’t want war in the region,” Mujahid was reported as saying by Afghan television channel Tolo television.
Baloch pointed to a prior statement made by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in her response, emphasising the clarity of Bilawal’s position on this topic.
“Pakistan will not negotiate with individuals who are responsible for the killing of Pakistani civilians and law enforcement officials,” added the FO spokesperson.
In an interview with The Washington Post in January, Bilawal stated that Pakistan’s leadership will not undertake negotiations with terrorist outfits that do not respect the country’s laws and the Constitution.
The FM was also asked if Pakistan hoped that the new Afghan government would take action against the TTP, to which he said, “Our hope, and their agreement, was that their soil would not be used for terrorism.” We hope to work with them to combat terrorists who are a concern to us.
We are both terrorist victims. I do not believe that the Afghan government will be effective in combating terrorism on its own, and I do not believe that we will be successful in combating terrorism on our own. We must collaborate.”
Pakistan has seen an uptick in terrorist activity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and Punjab since the TTP called off its truce on November 28 last year.