TTP a matter Pakistan must take up, not Afghanistan: Taliban

Statesman Report

ISLAMABAD: Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has said that the issue of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is one that the Pakistan government must resolve, not Afghanistan.

Mujahid's remarks came during an interview with Geo News on programme "Jirga", aired on Saturday night.

Show host Saleem Safi asked the spokesman if the Taliban will speak to the TTP to not engage in conflict with Pakistan. In response, Mujahid said: "The issue of the TTP is one that Pakistan will have to deal with, not Afghanistan. It is up to Pakistan, and Pakistani ulema and religious figures, not the Taliban, to decide on the legitimacy or illegitimacy of their war and to formulate a strategy in response."

'How soon can one expect a government in Afghanistan?'

When asked how soon people can expect the formation of a government in Afghanistan, the spokesman said that full-fledged efforts are currently underway in this regard, but that some minor obstacles are causing a delay.

"First of all, entering Kabul all of a sudden and taking over governance like this was unanticipated. We desire to hold wide-ranging talks regarding the formation of a government, so that a strong government can form," he said.

Mujahid also indicated the Taliban's desire for an "end to war", and the "creation of such a system, with everyone's input, that represents the wishes of the people".

"We have made considerable progress in this regard, but work is still underway," he said.

"Discussions are being held on all aspects of a government," the spokesman said, adding that he hopes that the Taliban will be ready "within a few days" to make an announcement in this regard.

Mujahid noted that the delay has caused hindrances in day-to-day operations and matters of trade and diplomacy, and so the Taliban have "engaged all their efforts in forming a government as soon as possible".