Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Maulvi Omar denied today that his organization has any ties with al-Qaeda, and reiterated his call for peace talks, saying the TTP was sincere about peace with the government, and any attempt to resolve the issues by force would prove fruitless.
This is the third time this month that Maulvi Omar has spoken of the possibility of peace with the Pakistani government. On October 15 he said the TTP was willing to enter into negotiations “without any conditions” and said they were open to disarming if the Pakistani government halted its offensives against them. He reiterated the call on October 23, saying the offer to disarm was a firm one.
Today’s call is the first time Maulvi Omar has issued an announcement since he was reported killed in an air strike last weekend in Bajaur. The BBC was unable to reach him for a comment last week after a tribal jirga in Bajaur announced that the TTP had vowed to lay down its arms.
The TTP announced a unilateral ceasefire in late August, which it claims to have respected for much of September. Pakistan’s government denounced the ceasefire, but then declared one of their own only a week later. The government’s ceasefire never seemed to materialize, however, with government offensives being reported on a near daily basis during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.