KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – The Pakistani Taliban said on Monday that they have formally called off an already ineffective cease-fire agreed with the government in June, accusing security forces of launching “consistent” operations against the group, primarily in the country’s northwest.
The development, not surprising to many, comes a day before Pakistan’s new army chief, Gen. Asim Munir, is going to take the charge following retirement of his predecessor, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, who led the security operations against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a conglomerate of several militant groups in Pakistan, for six years.
The decision was announced through a statement released by the TTP on its propaganda website and also sent to some journalists.
The militant network’s so-called Defense Ministry called on all its affiliates to carry out attacks against security forces “wherever you can reach” across the country.
Citing recent security operations against the network in different parts of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan, the TTP contended that it had shown restraint despite the government’s “provocative” actions.
However, the statement further said, the security forces did not halt their operations against the “mujahidin,” therefore, “retaliatory attacks will now be carried out across the country – God willing.”
There was no immediate reaction to the announcement from the government or the military.
In June, the Pakistani government and the TTP reached an agreement on an indefinite cease-fire.
In November 2021, former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry declared that the Pakistani government and the TTP had negotiated a complete cease-fire.
The declaration came just over a month after then-Prime Minister Imran Khan revealed that the government was in negotiations with various TTP organizations in the hope of reaching an agreement.
However, the TTP called off the cease-fire brokered by the Afghan Taliban exactly one month later, claiming that the government had breached its promise to release inmates.
Since then, a slew of clashes between the two sides have been reported, mainly in the restive North Waziristan tribal district, killing dozens of soldiers and suspected militant.