Pak Taliban Rejects Malik's Demand for Ceasefire

Rezaul H Laskar/Islamabad
Pak Taliban Rejects Malik's Demand for Ceasefire

The Pakistani Taliban have rejected Interior Minister Rehman Malik's demand that any peace talks should be preceded by a ceasefire, saying any truce will follow the dialogue process.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said the issue of a ceasefire could be one of the topics on the agenda for possible talks.

In the past, Ihsan had completely ruled out the possibility of a ceasefire.

He criticised Malik for adopting what he called a "non-serious approach" towards the offer of peace talks.

"We made the offer of holding talks. However, we have not received any response from the government so far," he said on phone from an undisclosed location.

Malik had said the government would be ready for a dialogue with Taliban if they announced a month-long ceasefire and formed a jirga of religious scholars to achieve purposeful results.

Malik had also criticised Ihsan and advised the Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud and his deputy, Waliur Rehman, that their spokesman was "not loyal" to them.

Asmatullah Moavia, the chief of the Punjab chapter of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, said the militants had agreed to form a high-level team for negotiations with the government.

The names of the members of this team will be revealed only after the Taliban feel that the government and military are serious about talks, he said.

Moavia claimed any political initiative would be ineffective without a "positive response" from the Pakistan Army.

In a related development, Ihsan told the media that the Taliban has convened an meeting of its Shura or council following a call by Pakistani political parties for settling the issue of terrorism through dialogue.

Ehsan said the Shura would hold its meeting at a location along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Next Story : VVIP Chopper Deal: BJP Demands SIT Probe
Download the Outlook ​Magazines App. Six magazines, wherever you go! Play Store and App Store
Online Casino Betway Banner