Islamabad, May 17 – A Pakistani delegation led by Lt General Faiz Hameed, former director of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), visited Kabul and reportedly held talks with representatives of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terror group, a media report said.
However, there was no official confirmation from either side about the development but reports suggested that it was part of a renewed push by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan to broker some kind of a deal between Pakistan and the TTP, The Express Tribune report said.
“Faiz Hameed, the incumbent head of Peshawar Army Corps Command, along with his delegation had arrived in Kabul for negotiations with the TTP,” The Express Tribune quoted Afghan journalist Bill Sarwary as saying in a tweet.
TTP members and official sources in Kabul also confirmed to the VOA of Gen Faiz’s presence in Kabul for talks with the banned outfir mediated by the Haqqani Network.
Al-Jazeera journalist Suddaf Chaudry also spotted Gen Faiz at the lobby of a private hotel in Kabul, The Express Tribune report said.
Gen Faiz as head of the ISI had been instrumental in brokering a deal between the US and the Afghan Taliban.
His reported presence in Kabul seems to stem from his close connections with the Afghan Taliban as well as his experience in handling them.
The talks with the banned TTP took place against the backdrop of a surge in terrorist attacks in Pakistan in recent months.
Contrary to Pakistan’s expectations, since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last August there has been an increase in terrorist attacks targeting the security forces.
This year alone, over 120 Pakistani security officials including officers were killed in attacks mostly carried out by the TTP, The Express Tribune reported.
This has mounted pressure on the Taliban government to take action against the TTP and its affiliates currently operating out of the neighbouring country.
In April when terrorists launched cross border attacks leaving Pakistani soldiers dead, Pakistani Air force jets reportedly pounded the hideouts of TTP across the border.