The Pakistani government and anti-Pakistan insurgent organization Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have resumed dialogue. The TTP established a three-month ceasefire with Pakistan at the beginning of June. This ceasefire resulted from weeks of covert negotiations between TTP and Pakistani military officials in Kabul. Will the talks result in a lasting political accord? Five variables will influence Pakistan-TTP discussions.
The Taliban (TTP), the central insurgent organization in Afghanistan, demands that Pakistani military troops withdraw from the country’s erstwhile tribal territories. The TTP wants a reversal of the 2018 constitutional reform that merged Pakistan’s tribal regions with the rest of Pakistan. This offer looks enticing, but the TTP argues that the FATA merger reverse is non-negotiable; thus, it is inadequate. The Taliban may seek strategic breathing space to reduce their reliance on Pakistan. Haqqani continues to publicly commend the TTP for its role in the insurgency against the United States and the previous Afghan government.
The TTP is conflicted about the political ramifications of negotiating with Pakistan. It seems that there are three camps. Some Taliban fear the emergence of anti-Taliban armed organizations if the TTP cannot exert control over the geographical sliver it may get if Pakistan compromises in negotiations. This side is reluctant to compromise on the ideological objective of a political regime based on Shariah.