According to TTP sources, the problems between the two sides started cropping up in mid-July.

The talks between the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Pakistani army have “stopped” which the TTP has attributed to the “insincerity” shown by the army side and not adhering to the agreements that were reached during the past few months. The two sides, with one side represented by TTP commanders, and the other by high ranking Pakistan army generals, have been engaged in talks in Kabul under the patronage of Afghanistan Taliban for months now.

While both sides are officially still observing an indefinite ceasefire, till a final agreement is reached, developments happening on the ground suggest that the ceasefire agreement was breathing its last. According to TTP sources, the problems between the two sides started cropping up in mid-July.

As per details reviewed by The Sunday Guardian, since the start of September, the TTP and the Pakistan armed forces have clashed at least eight times which has resulted in the death of at least 12 Pakistani soldiers and policemen. And this is happening even as a “ceasefire” is officially in place.

This armed conflict has resumed even as news has emerged that the TTP chief Noor Wali Mehsud has gone underground after a number of senior TTP commanders were mysteriously killed, which the TTP claims at the hands of the Pakistan army, even as an Afghan Taliban brokered talks were going on in Kabul.

In the first such attack, which the TTP described as a “defensive attack”, one policeman was killed on 3 September in Peshawar after he, along with his three colleagues, tried to stop the movement of TTP cadres at the Regi Model town police station. Then on 4 September, an Assistant Sub inspector level officer and another officer were killed in the Lakki Marwat district of Bannu division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, after the policemen raided the premises of the TTP cadre.

In a much more devastating attack, a raid of the Pakistan army at Bannu, North Waziristan at a TTP center on 6 September, led to the death of five of its men. The TTP suffered the loss of two of its men.

Emails sent to Inter-Services Public Relations, the media and PR wing of the Pakistan armed forces, seeking the response on these developments and whether the ceasefire was still in place, did not elicit any response till the time the story went to press. Interestingly, all these armed conflicts have been described by the TTP as “defensive” and “retaliatory” attacks.

On 7 September, as per the TTP, its cadre after being caught in an ambush at Orakzai District, Kohat Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, killed “many soldiers” and escaped ambush after several hours of clash. On the same day, 7 September, the TTP cadre and the Frontier Corp personnel and the Pakistan army, clashed twice at different places at Khyber Agency in which an army official was killed.

Again on 7 September, the TTP cadre attacked a police team at Orakzai district when the police team was inspecting the hideouts and routes of the TTP Mujahideen in the limits of Dabori police station. The attack led to the killing of the Station House Officer of Dabori police station. On the same day, the TTP cadre launched another attack at a police check post in Lakki Marwat in which four police personnel were seriously injured.

So, as per the records, only on 7 September, the TTP and the Pakistan military clashed four times in which at least two officials were killed. On Thursday, 8 September, the TTP blew up an army check post by using hand grenades in Kurram district of Kohat province in which two army personnel were killed. The said checkpoint, as per the TTP, was being used to keep an eye on their movement.

According to TTP functionaries who spoke to this newspaper, the ceasefire is still in place, but the TTP has decided to “retaliate” if the other side (Pakistan military) breaks the ceasefire agreements, which, among other things, include, free movement of TTP cadre across Pakistan.