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Days after surrendering to Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan, the Imran Khan government has announced a month-long ceasefire with another banned terrorist outfit. We are told that there has been substantive development in the ongoing negotiations with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, brokered by the Afghan Taliban. But we still do not know on what terms the so-called peace is being negotiated with a terrorist group that had declared war on the Pakistani state and had killed thousands of people.

According to a media report, the group wants the release of several hundred militants, many of whom were involved in terrorist attacks, before the start of negotiations. That would contradict the government’s claim of having made significant progress in the talks. The information minister says that the negotiations are being held under a constitutional framework. But there is no clear answer to the question of how the state can talk peace with a group, which is banned as a terrorist outfit and which has not surrendered.

There was no cessation in hostilities while Pakistani security officials engaged in talks. Just days before the ceasefire announcement, an ambush in North Waziristan claimed the lives of four soldiers. Scores of soldiers have lost their lives in renewed terrorist attacks over the last few…

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