Decision was made after "substantial progress" in the talks with the 50-member team of elders from Pakistan in the Afghan capital, says outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.

Pakistan says its forces have been repeatedly targeted by TTP militants across the international boundary with Afghanistan.
Pakistan says its forces have been repeatedly targeted by TTP militants across the international boundary with Afghanistan. (Caren Firouz / File / Reuters)

The Pakistani Taliban has declared an indefinite ceasefire with Islamabad, saying "substantial progress" had been made in peace talks in the Afghan capital.

"In the two days of meeting substantial progress has been made and as a result of that the leadership of the TTP [Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan] has extended the ceasefire until further notice," the militant group's spokesperson Muhammad Khurasani said in a statement issued in Kabul.

A truce previously agreed upon until May 30 for the Islamic festival of Eid had been held until now.

"For taking the negotiations forward further meetings will be held in a few days," Khurasani said.

Since the Afghan Taliban returned to power last year, Islamabad has increasingly complained of attacks by the outlawed TTP, especially along the mountainous border with Afghanistan.

The TTP is a home-grown militancy but shares roots with the new rulers in Afghanistan, who Pakistan says lets its fighters stage assaults from Afghan soil.

It has carried out some of the bloodiest attacks inside Pakistan since 2007. It is not directly affiliated with the Afghan Taliban but pledges allegiance to them.

In recent weeks peace talks have been brokered by the Afghan Taliban in Kabul, bringing together Islamabad and the TTP, which has battled Pakistani forces for over a decade.

The talks received a boost after a new delegation of tribal elders from Pakistan arrived in Kabul on Tuesday for a fresh round of negotiations with the TTP.

READ MORE: Why the Taliban ignores Pakistan's demands to take action against the TTP

'Positive direction'

A Pakistani government official who did not want to be named told the AFP news agency that the talks held in Kabul were moving in a "positive direction".

The official discussions may be an indication the Afghan Taliban are trying to smooth over rocky relations with Pakistan.

The mountainous region between Afghanistan and Pakistan has long been a hive of militant activity, with the border becoming a source of friction since the Afghan Taliban reclaimed power in August.

Islamabad has made repeated claims its forces have been targeted by TTP militants across the international boundary.

Last month, Afghan officials said a Pakistani air strike in eastern Afghanistan killed 47 people.

Pakistan did not comment on the strike but urged Kabul to secure its border to prevent militant operations.

The Pakistani Taliban have for years used Afghanistan's rugged border regions for hideouts and for staging cross-border attacks into Pakistan and have now been emboldened by the return to power of the Afghan Taliban.

The group wants Pakistani government forces to pull out of former tribal regions of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, release all the TTP militants in government custody and revoke all the legal cases against them.

The government in Islamabad, on the other hand, wants the Pakistani Taliban disbanded and for the insurgents to accept Pakistan's constitution and sever all their ties with the Daesh terror group, mostly active in Afghanistan. 

READ MORE: Pakistan calls on Taliban to stop 'attacks' from inside Afghanistan

Source: AFP