ISLAMABAD, March 1 (Xinhua) -- As the Pakistani security forces mounted pressure on the Taliban militants with targeted air strikes on their hideouts, the Pakistani Taliban on Saturday announced ceasefire for a month and asked its activists to stop all attacks.
The Taliban spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, also urged the government to positively respond to the Taliban's ceasefire decision.
The ceasefire was announced after a deadlock in rare peace dialogue between the Pakistani government and a team of the Taliban intermediaries.
A government committee had refused to hold more talks with the Taliban team unless they stop terror attacks.
The Taliban had previously refused to declare ceasefire and had called upon the government to announce ceasefire first.
The security forces had then started targeted air strikes in Waziristan tribal region after the Taliban refusal to stop attacks.
Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had hinted in the parliament on Friday that the security forces could launch a major operation in the coming weeks.
Analysts believe the Taliban have announced the ceasefire in view of the growing pressure from the army.
"On the appeal from senior religious scholars, in respect to the Taliban Dialogue Committee and in the best interest of Islam and the country, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan declares ceasefire for a month," a Taliban statement said.
The Taliban spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, said that the Taliban's senior leaders have directed all units to show respect and implement the declaration of the ceasefire with the government and stop all attacks.
"We hope that the government will also seriously consider our decision and will make positive progress and will keep the dialogue process from politics," he said.
The government committee welcomed the Taliban decision, which has raised hopes for the revival of the dialogue process.
The Taliban spokesman claimed that they had started talks with the government with good objectives and seriousness.
"As the government has positively responded to our suggestions to end the deadlock and ceasefire, so we have decided to declare ceasefire," he said.
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