Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that if the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) lay down their arms, “we can forgive them and they can become normal citizens”. PM Khan said this in an interview with journalist Ali Mustafa, which will air on TRT World Now.

“Pakistani Taliban groups actually want to talk to our government for some peace, for some reconciliation and we are in talks with some of those groups,” added PM Khan.

“Is the Afghan Taliban helping you in this process?” questioned Ali Mustafa.

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“In a sense that the talks are taking place in Afghanistan so yes, you can say it in this sense.”

Mustafa asked if Pakistan was expecting some sort of an agreement or a deal to come out from the Taliban.

“Yes, I repeat I do not believe in military solutions. I’m anti-military solutions, so I always believe that being a politician, political dialogue is the way ahead, which I always believed was the case in Afghanistan,” added the premier.

Last month, President Dr Arif Alvi had said that if anyone wants to leave the ideology of the banned TTP and work as per the Constitution of Pakistan, the government may consider a general amnesty.

President Alvi said, “The TTP is a threat to us. We have been told that they will stay with them [Afghan Taliban] but do nothing against Pakistan.”

“It’s one step, Pakistan will consider general amnesty, if anyone surrenders,” further added Alvi.

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A few days after the president’s statement, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in an interview with The Independent also said that the government would be “open to giving” a pardon to members of the banned TTP if they promise not to get involved in terrorism and follow the Constitution of Pakistan.

Qureshi added, “If [the TTP] are willing to mend fences and not take the law into their hands and not get involved in terrorist activities and they submit and surrender to the writ of the government and the Constitution of Pakistan, we are even open to giving them a pardon.”

“But as long as they do not come and start undertaking terrorist activities [in Pakistan]. That is our concern,” the foreign minister stressed.