The Pakistani Taliban yesterday announced a one-month ceasefire aimed at reviving peace talks after receiving what it said were government assurances it would not be attacked.
Speculation has mounted that the Pakistani military is planning an offensive against the insurgents after talks between the militants and government broke down.
"The senior leadership of the Taliban advises all subgroups to respect the Taliban's call for a ceasefire and abide by it and completely refrain from all jihadi activities in this time period," spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said in a statement.
Peace talks between the Pakistani government and Taliban insurgents began on February 6 but broke down after insurgents said they executed 23 men from a government paramilitary force in revenge for the killing of their fighters by army forces.
Senior Taliban officials told Reuters that they announced the ceasefire after receiving assurances from the civilian government that they would not be attacked.
"Senior officials of the federal government promised us the government and its law-enforcement agencies would not take any action against our people in the country," a senior Taliban commander said. "You can say the government first announced ceasefire and we did it later."
He declined to say who in the government made the guarantee. Officials did not return calls seeking confirmation.