Just one day after the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) declared a unilateral ceasefire in the Bajaur Agency, the Pakistani security forces have now said that at the request of tribal elders they will observe a four day ceasefire in the area as well as “a goodwill gesture.”
The last time the two sides ostensibly both had a ceasefire in effect was at the beginning of Ramadan, though in that case the Pakistani military never actually halted its attacks. Local tribesmen have been pressuring both sides to come to an agreement, as the fighting has caused enormous humanitarian issues in the tiny agency.
The Pakistani government has long rebuffed calls for rapprochement in Bajaur, but has recently come to an agreement with the various militant factions in the neighboring Swat Valley. This may be an indication that, as growing militancy and economic ruin bring the government to the brink of collapse, they are looking for a way out of endless conflict. That may signal an end to the disastrous war in Bajaur, just as it appears to have in Swat Valley.
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