The chief of the Afghan Taliban, Haibatullah Akhundzada, has reportedly urged the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its affiliates to reassess their strategy towards Pakistan. This comes after his recent meeting with Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the head of Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).
According to sources, Fazl delivered a message from Akhundzada to Pakistani authorities upon his return from Kabul. The Taliban leader directed the TTP leadership to review its strategy and reduce violence. However, initial reactions from Pakistani authorities suggest dissatisfaction, as they seek a permanent solution to the problem.
The source indicates that the message for the TTP to reduce violence may not be sufficient, and Pakistani authorities emphasize the need for a lasting resolution. Fazl informed Pakistani authorities that the Taliban government believes dialogue is the only solution to the TTP issue.
Akhundzada emphasized that both parties, being Muslims, should seek a solution through dialogue, offering the Taliban’s “good offices” for the revival of talks.
While talks between Pakistan and the TTP were initiated after the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021, they eventually broke down. Despite the renewed call for talks by the Afghan Taliban chief, Pakistan seems reluctant to revisit its stance.
Observers are skeptical of a breakthrough given the significant differences between the two sides on the TTP issue. Any substantial developments on the Afghan front are anticipated after the upcoming elections when the new government may review its policies.