Khar (NWFP), Aug 25 : Heavy casualties of their members and advice from the tribal elders, have forced the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to announce a ceasefire in Bajaur Agency, saying they would initiate dialogue with the federal government.
The ceasefire decision was taken following talks with tribal elders, TTP spokesman Maulvi Omar reportedly said.
"We have directed our militants to stop attacks against the government and security forces in Bajaur from today. The jirga (elders' council) insisted that Taliban should stop fighting in the interest of the people of Bajaur.
The jirga has assured the Taliban that troops will also suspend shelling and bombing raids in the area. We are ready for talks with the government and the truce is an important development towards dialogue," the Daily Times quoted Omar as telling a foreign news agency.
He said that the TTP wanted peace in the country and would co-operate with the government "if it was serious and sincere".
But, the ceasefire would be limited to Bajaur, the spokesman added.
After moving into Bajaur early last month, Pakistani security forces reportedly killed at least 550 militants. But, the offensive displaced nearly two lakh people in the region.