MIRANSHAH: A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban on Saturday denied media reports that the government was holding peace talks with the insurgent group.

Shahidullah Shahid, main spokesman for the umbrella Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) group told news AFP that no contacts had been made between the group and any government official.

“I categorically deny the holding of peace talks on any level between the Taliban and Pakistani government,” Shahid told AFP from an undisclosed location.

“No contacts have even been made between us, nor have we received any offer to initiate peace talks” Shahid added.

Information Minister Pervez Rashid had earlier told Dawn that the government was in secret talks with the Taliban.

“Unofficial talks between the government side and Taliban are in progress,” Rashid told Dawn on Friday.

Rashid said the government's main objective was to restore peace and it would do everything possible to achieve that.

“We have to rid the country of the menace of terrorism for which all options would be utilised,” Rashid was quoted as saying.

The BBC Urdu, quoting an unnamed senior government official and a Taliban commander, had also reported the beginning of peace talks.

“It is complete propaganda, the government must make it public if it has any proof of any such talks,” Shahid said.

The reports of peace talks emerged almost two weeks after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made an offer to the extremists in his first televised address to the nation since taking office after winning elections in May.

The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan last Saturday 'removed' a key commander for welcoming Sharif’s call for dialogue.

Asmatullah Muawiya, the head of the Punjabi Taliban, had said the prime minister had shown maturity.

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Comments (7)

Anees
August 31, 2013 6:43 pm

One side MUST BE lying.

Agha Ata
August 31, 2013 6:52 pm

Obviously one of them is lying, or was lying. As a matter of fact there can be no peace talk between Taliban and the government. Because it is not a matter of GIVE and TAKE for Taliban. It is a matter of GIVE ALL and GET OUT. How can you give them anything, anyway (forget giving them all)? Let’s suppose you give them the ministry of Education. Now imagine what would happen. Or just supposing, give them the ministry of Information, or even the Foreign Affairs. And I don’t think they would be interested in any other ministry. Their whole purpose is to enforce Sharia of their version which I think is an insult to the word SHARIA (considering the treatment toward women and school going girls)

All news about having any kind of peace talk with Taliban, in the past or present and even in the future was, is and would be WRONG. If Taliban change a bit, they wouldn’t have the power they used to have in Afghanistan. They love power mover than their SHARIA.

awais
August 31, 2013 8:30 pm

its becoming a ploy by the TTP to go back and forth on the so called dialogue with the government to buy time and increase their foothold. How long will the government keep blowing dirt in the eyes of the people ? Just look at Karachi , Quetta, KPK, Punjab , the whole country is a mess. When will we see an all out out assault against any and all anti-state elements ? I hope the government realizes soon enough that terrorists are never negotiated with. How did Sri Lanka deal with LTTE ? not by dialogue, Pakistan helped them in that fight, why cant we do the same in our own country ?

syed baqar ahsan
August 31, 2013 10:25 pm

In my experience of service I have seen paid criminals photographs them like TTP seen in picture above,secondly people produced by our police in the court and to the media are not the real ones,criminals are exposed world wide but here in our country they are shown faced covered who knows what is behind.

Ahmer
September 1, 2013 4:50 am

Only one out of the two is telling the truth. Which one?

Agha Ata
September 1, 2013 8:12 pm

Taliban are perfectly capable of denying a secret meeting before, during and even after it takes place. Their maxim is "Everything you do to an infidel is allowed, and all, except Taliban themselves, are infidels, of course!

Ahmer
September 2, 2013 12:41 am

@Anees:

Which one? Govt or TTP?

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