Talks with TTP factions: Case of those involved in APS carnage is ‘different’, says Sheikh Rasheed

Reacting to reports about disarmament talks with some factions of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed Saturday clarified that the case of those involved in the massacre of the Army Public School is “different”.
A day earlier, Prime Minister Imran khan, speaking to TRT World’s Ali Mustafa in Islamabad, had revealed that Pakistan was in disarmament talks with some factions of the banned TTP, adding that the government wanted stability in the country in the backdrop of a fast evolving situation in Afghanistan.
Talking to journalists, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said, “We know who is good and who is bad.” He maintained that it is not appropriate to fight with those who surrendered to adopt peaceful lives.
Sheikh Rasheed said that the government is making a strategy for the next 20 years, adding that the world scenario is expected to change soon.
The interior minister emphasised that Pakistan wants good relations with the US and China.
Talking about the Afghanistan crisis, the minister gave an assurance of Pakistan’s every possible support in tackling the crisis. “[The] US signed the deal relating to [the] withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan but not us,” he added.
PPP’s leadership is intelligent as it has boarded the “Samjhauta Express” he revealed, adding that the PML-N will also board the train, but after being thrashed.
“There is no need to hold talks with the opposition leaders as they are facing corruption cases,” said Sheikh Rasheed.
Terming inflation a top priority of the government, the minister vowed to overcome the issue soon. He said that the FIA has been directed to crackdown on hoarders of dollars.
Speaking on the occasion, the interior minister said that they would fight with the enemies of the country and vowed to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the country at all costs.
On petrol prices, the minister said that in Pakistan, the prices of petroleum products are much less as compared to India and Bangladesh. The petrol prices will fall if they reach a deal with Saudi Arabia, he added.
Provision of food items and medicines at affordable rates to the masses is a top priority and the government’s “national duty”, the minister said.
Sheikh Rasheed was of the view that there is no need to take the leader of the opposition into confidence over the appointment of the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as he was also facing the corruption cases.
On October 1, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said Pakistan was in disarmament talks with some factions of the banned TTP as the government seeks stability in the country in the backdrop of a fast evolving situation in Afghanistan.
PM Imran Khan, speaking to TRT World’s Ali Mustafa in Islamabad, had said: “I think some of the Pakistani Taliban groups actually want to talk to our government. You know, for some peace, for some reconciliation.”
When asked to confirm whether Pakistan was actually in talks with the TTP, the premier had clarified to say that talks are ongoing “with some of them”.
He had said that the Afghan Taliban are “helping”, in the sense that the talks are taking place in Afghanistan.
The premier had said that these talks, for disarmament, if successful, will lead to the government “forgiving” them, “and then they [will] become normal citizens”.
The premier had noted he always believed that a non-military solution was the only way forward for Afghanistan — and he has reiterated it time and again on national, international forums.

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