Locals Push for Pakistani Taliban Off-Shoots to Join Peace Talks

Sick of War, Tribesmen Back Mehsud Plan

The Pakistani Taliban are a broad collection of different factions, and reportedly that factionalization has been growing in recent months, with several claims that Hakimullah Mehsud’s control over the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is in question.

That’s bad news for local tribesmen, who are hopeful that Mehsud’s plan for peace talks with the Pakistani government will get off the ground, and many are urging the off-shoot groups to go along with the talks.

The claims of Mehsud’s weakening position have many in the government questioning the wisdom of peace talks, and issuing preconditions for the talks. From their perspective a deal with Mehsud would likely only effect the Mehsud tribesmen in North and South Waziristan and not the rest of the TTP.

Yet these demands have the TTP questioning the government sincerity in holding talks before the election. Civilians in both the tribal areas and the rest of Pakistan are sick of the fighting and want the talks, but whether that is enough to get either side fully on board remains to be seen.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.