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World

Not received serious response for peace talks: Pak Taliban

Monday, 7 January 2013
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January 07:

The Taliban on Monday claimed it had not received a "serious response" from the Pakistan government to its offer for peace talks, which could be jeopardized by the stance adopted by the army.

The outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan clarified its position on the proposed peace talks in an email sent to journalists by spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan, who said the group had not got "any serious response on our offer for talks".

The Taliban "do not have any trust in (the) army for talks being successful, so we need some surety about (the) army", Ihsan said. Current steps towards talks "are in danger (because of) the mood of the army", he claimed.

The army's top commanders reiterated their commitment to continue the fight against terrorism, the reports said.

Ihsan accused the Pakistan Army of selling "out a part of the Pakistani state (of) Kashmir" and said the military was "now announcing that they have just threats from inside, meaning Taliban".

He claimed the army "has always made politicians powerless". Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud made the offer for peace talks in a video sent to journalists in the country's northwest last month.

Mehsud said his group was willing to negotiate with the government but would not disarm. The Taliban have set other conditions for the peace talks, including rewriting the country s Constitution and laws to bring them in line with Shariah or Islamic law and resuming support for militants in Jammu and Kashmir.

In his email, Ihsan said the Taliban "do not yearn to destroy the state, instead (they) just want to save it by implementing Shariah".

The current steps towards table talk are in danger by the mood of army. The government has not formally responded to the offer for talks though several federal ministers have said negotiations can only be held with militant groups that lay down arms.

Media reports said a Corps Commanders meeting chaired by army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Friday assessed the Taliban's offer for peace talks and decided that a final decision on the issue should be made by the civilian government.

The army's top commanders reiterated their commitment to continue the fight against terrorism, the reports said. A new doctrine adopted by the army has also described the ongoing guerrilla war in the tribal belt and along the western border and bomb attacks by militant groups as the greatest threat to Pakistan s security.

------PTI

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