Peshawar: Pakistan and the proscribed terror outfit Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have agreed to extend an indefinite ceasefire to find an end to the nearly two decades of militancy in the tribal border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Sources familiar with the development said that the extension of ceasefire indicates significant progress in talks between the two sides in the Afghan capital Kabul, reported Dawn.

The ceasefire extension has come to an end last night. Sources told Dawn that the two sides had agreed to extend the ceasefire and continue peace talks following separate meetings with Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund, Acting Prime Minister of the 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan' at his office.

The sources said that in the meetings with the two sides, Hassan Akhund expressed his desire that the talks and ceasefire should be allowed to continue without any cut-off date.

In a subsequent joint meeting, the two sides agreed to extend the ceasefire indefinitely and pursue negotiations to end the conflict that has seen mass dislocation and killings of thousands of people in Pakistan's tribal region and the country at large, reported Dawn.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid and TTP spokesman Muhammad Khurasani had issued statements early this month, announcing an extension in the ceasefire till May 30.

No official statement has been issued so far regarding the indefinite extension of the ceasefire. The development follows days of "intense and extensive negotiations" in the Afghan capital attended by senior-level delegations from the two sides that at one point seemed close to breakdown, reported Dawn.

Taliban's Acting Minister for Interior Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is the central mediator, helped bring the talks back on track, sources said.

Pakistani sources said that the government had demonstrated its seriousness by acceding to some of the TTP's demands and after the Taliban suggested it would be important for confidence-building to move from preliminaries to formal and structured negotiations.

The release of prisoners and presidential pardon to two key terrorist commanders, including TTP Swat spokesman Muslim Khan, was one such demand.

Compensation for the dead and wounded, enforcement of Shariah regulation in Malakand, withdrawal of the military from the borders and reversal of Fata merger into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were key demands from the TTP side, these sources said, reported Dawn.

As per Pakistan government sources, two major issues remained challenging: the reversal of the FATA merger and the disbandment of the TTP as an armed terrorist group.

Moreover, the government delegation has made it plain that no armed group would be allowed to enter Pakistan territory or operate as such.

The next round of negotiations is expected to take place in the second week of June, sources said, with a tribal jirga holding direct talks with the TTP in Kabul.