ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday said it was halting airstrikes against Taleban militants in response to a month-long cease-fire announced by the insurgents a day earlier.
“After the positive announcement on Sunday by the Taleban, the government has decided to suspend the airstrikes which were continuing for the past few days,” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said in a statement.
The statement added that “the government and armed forces of Pakistan, however, reserve the right for a befitting response to any act of violence (by the Taleban).”
On Saturday the Taleban announced a month-long cease-fire aimed at resuming stalled peace talks with the Pakistan government. Their announcement was met with scepticism by analysts who said it may have been a tactic to allow the militants to regroup after they had taken heavy losses in airstrikes.
Dialogue between Islamabad and the Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (Pakistani Taleban) that began last month was suspended after the militants killed 23 soldiers. The military responded with a series of airstrikes that left more than 100 insurgents dead.
Khan said that the “government considers the announcement of stopping of violent activities by Taleban a positive development.”