Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud said this during an interview with a YouTuber with an automatic assault rifle kept by his side.
“Our demands are clear… especially the reversal of FATA merger with KP is our primary demand which the group cannot back down from,” he said.
The interview, which was made available on YouTube on Wednesday, has been shot apparently somewhere in Kabul.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had recently ruled out the reversal of FATA merger with KP which was done through a constitutional amendment in 2018.
Negotiations between the government of Pakistan and the TTP have been held in Kabul under the auspices of the Afghan Taliban‘s interim government in the neighbouring country.
A 57-member jirga (an assembly of leaders) comprising elders of major tribes and clans from KP visited Kabul and held talks with the TTP leaders.
The TTP had announced a ceasefire for an indefinite period. However, security forces kept conducting search and strike operations against militants in the region, particularly in North Waziristan district. Similarly, attacks on security forces also continued.
The TTP chief said that negotiations between the outfit and the government were in progress but no major breakthrough had been made so far.
“The talks have yet to reach a conclusion,” said Noor Wali, sporting a traditional black turban.
Wali, who belongs to South Waziristan, is in Kabul for talks with the government.
He said that Corps Commander (Peshawar) Lt Gen Faiz Hameed was representing the Pakistan government in talks while he was leading the delegation from the TTP.
Wali said that the Afghan Taliban were hosting and facilitating the negotiations.
He said if the government showed “seriousness”, then a breakthrough in talks would be possible. He confirmed that the government had released some prisoners, but at the same time, “our colleagues are also being arrested”.
“This non-serious attitude on the part of the government can affect the negotiations,” he cautioned as he ruled out the dissolution of the TTP.
“A demand which affects the credibility of the movement will be unacceptable to us,” asserted Noor Wali, adding that “appropriate demands” could come under discussion during the negotiations, according to the Dawn report.