` Pakistani Taliban extends the `Deadline for March Ceasefire to April 10 Spokesman after Release of Prisoners ‘

#AceWorldNews – PAKISTAN – April 04 – (ALJ) – The Pakistani Taliban has extended a March ceasefire until April 10, a spokesman said, following the release of a batch of low-level prisoners by the Pakistani government.

The government began negotiations with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) through intermediaries in February to try to end the group’s bloody seven-year insurgency.

“We announce to extend the ceasefire till April 10 and TTP directs all Mujahideen to suspend their actions against government and security forces,” spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said in a statement on Friday.

A day earlier, the Interior Ministry said 19 Taliban prisoners it described as “non-combatant” had been released, in a move designed to invigorate a peace process with the group.

A spokesman for the ministry, Danial Gillani, told Al Jazeera that the prisoners had been released between March 21 and 28 in South Waziristan on the border with Afghanistan.

The detainees all belong to the Mehsud tribe, which dominates South Waziristan. They were arrested “on the basis of suspicion and intelligence reports,” Gillani said, adding that it was government policy that “innocent detainees be released after investigations”.

There was no indication whether the TTP would make reciprocal prisoner releases.

Courtesy of : Asad Hashim in Islamabad who contributed to this report.

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