Pakistani Taliban won’t extend cease-fire with government

December 9, 2021 GMT

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Pakistani Taliban said Thursday they will not extend a cease-fire agreed to last month, accusing the government in Islamabad of not honoring the truce and failing to release 102 of their fighters.

The militant group, also known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, has been behind numerous attacks on Pakistani security forces and civilians over the last 14 years. TTP was also behind a 2014 attack on an army-run school in the northwestern city of Peshawar that killed 154 people, mostly schoolchildren.

They are a separate group from the Taliban in Afghanistan, who took over that country in August. However, the two groups are close allies and TTP leaders and fighters have over the years sought sanctuary across the border in Afghanistan .

A statement from TTP spokesman Mohammad Khurasani claimed that despite the agreement on the cease-fire — which went into effect on Nov. 9 and was meant to give time for peace talks between the two sides — government forces are continuing to carry out operations against the group. The truce expires at midnight.


“It is not possible to carry on with the cease-fire in these circumstances,” Khurasani said.

There was no immediate comment from the Pakistani authorities.

The Pakistani Taliban have been emboldened by the return to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan and there have been concerns of renewed violence within Pakistan. About a million people were displaced when Pakistan launched operations in the northwest in 2013 to clear out TTP fighters. They returned to their homes after 2017, when Pakistan claimed victory against the militants.