Pakistan's top military brass has discussed the ongoing peace talks with the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) outfit facilitated by the Army to prevent further terror attacks in the country by the militant group, according to a media report on July 23.
It was the first of such meetings, involving all the armed services, since the Pakistan Army-led talks with the TTP in Afghanistan assumed a public profile with briefings for political leaders and the Parliamentary Committee on National Security on the issue by the army top brass, the Dawn newspaper reported.
The national security meeting chaired by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC) Gen. Nadeem Raza was held on Friday.
It was attended by all three services chiefs — Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, ISI Director General Lt. Gen. Nadeem Anjum, Peshawar Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Faiz Hamid, and other senior officials.
The forum was given a detailed briefing on the national security situation specific to Western border, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, the media wing of the Army said about the meeting.
“Fast-paced developments in the realm of strategic and conventional policies, the importance of peace in Afghanistan for sustainable development in the region and the operational preparedness of the armed forces” were also discussed, the Pakistan Army said.
The participants, the Army said, resolved to respond to “entire spectrum of threats” in accordance with the “comprehensive security strategy”.
The military leadership had told the political leadership at the earlier briefings that it wanted to give peace a chance, but would respond with full force if the TTP did not abide by the agreement that may be eventually concluded.
Talks with the TTP have been going on since last year but so far no major breakthrough has been announced by either side.
Pakistani authorities are asking for the dissolution of the terrorist organisation, laying of arms, and respect for the Constitution, whereas the TTP is seeking withdrawal of security forces from the erstwhile tribal areas, annulment of the 2018 merger of tribal agencies with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the release of its fighters, and compensation for the damage it suffered.
According to the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies database, the TTP this year carried out nearly 46 attacks, mostly against security forces, in which 79 people were killed.