In this Oct 5, 2013 photo, Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid (centre) speaks in an interview at an undisclosed location in Pakistan's tribal areas.—AP Photo
In this Oct 5, 2013 photo, Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid (centre) speaks in an interview at an undisclosed location in Pakistan's tribal areas.—AP Photo
In this Oct 5, 2013 photo, Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid speaks in an interview at an undisclosed location in Pakistan's tribal areas.—AP Photo
In this Oct 5, 2013 photo, Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid speaks in an interview at an undisclosed location in Pakistan's tribal areas.—AP Photo
In this Oct 5, 2013 photo, Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, right, arrives for an interview at an undisclosed location in Pakistan's tribal areas.—AP Photo
In this Oct 5, 2013 photo, Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, right, arrives for an interview at an undisclosed location in Pakistan's tribal areas.—AP Photo

MIRAMSHAH: The Pakistani Taliban said Friday they have had “no contact” with the government, a day after officials said a process to initiate peace talks had been started.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Thursday that the “process of dialogue” had started, and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said “structured, formal” talks with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants would soon be initiated.

Shahidullah Shahid, the main spokesman for the TTP told news agency AFP on Friday that there had been no overtures.

“No one has yet contacted us. The government is making announcements only by media, no peace talks have yet been started,” Shahid said. “The beginning of peace talks means sitting at a table and discussing issues, no such thing has yet happened.”

The TTP have waged a bloody six-year war against the Pakistani state, which has left thousands dead. The government of Prime Minister Sharif has been edging towards peace talks to end the bloodshed.

Last month Sharif won the backing of the main political parties to go ahead with peace dialogue with the TTP, and the powerful army chief has voiced his support.

After the political parties gave their backing to talks, the TTP issued a list of preconditions including the release of all its members held in Pakistani jails and the withdrawal of troops from the tribal areas along the Afghan border, where the militants have hideouts.

Shahid on Friday reiterated these demands and said the government must fulfill them to prove they are serious about talks.

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Comments (9) (Closed)


Khalid
Nov 01, 2013 03:24pm

How interesting. Prime Minister says talks have started. TTP say no contact has been made yet. Who do we believe?. Our Prime Minister can not lie. He has never lied to the nation. Not even when he signed an agreement with Musharraf.

Shah
Nov 01, 2013 03:37pm

If TTP is showing a little quest for peace talk then it is our government that does not want to negotiate. It is a chance for our Government to step forward for the negotiation. Many promises are made, now some action time. Hope this negotiation goes right and bloodshed ends up.

Rashid Sultan
Nov 01, 2013 04:44pm

As is normal with our 3rd time PM he keeps well abreast of what his government is doing with others. Only, the others don't know about it! Sounds familiar?

Agha Ata
Nov 01, 2013 05:25pm

Taliban's statements sound more realistic than just wishful. What the heck our government is doing?

US CENTCOM
Nov 01, 2013 05:20pm

It is no secret that the nation of Pakistan has been plagued with terrorism in recent times. Thousands of innocent lives have been lost inside Pakistan due to indiscriminate killings. Pakistani security forces continue to lay their lives down in countering insurgency. We greatly appreciate their sacrifices and fully support their efforts to counter insurgency. At the same time, we wish to see peace prevail throughout the country. Pakistan’s security and stability is simply vital to the region’s security and stability. We simply cannot over emphasize Pakistan’s importance in the region. We hope to stay unified, and also remain optimistic in regards to achieving our shared peace objectives in the region.

Ali Khan DET, United States Central Command

msa
Nov 01, 2013 05:23pm

Almost all people of Pakistan are against talks with PTT. You cannot be neutral between fire and fire brigade. Now I see that the preconditions of Taliban are unacceptable. The government must establish its writ by force. You cannot negotiate with these animals. What is there to negotiate - more mosques, no schools.

Syed
Nov 01, 2013 07:20pm

So, Mr PM was lying about the talks have already started. What other lies are this govt telling ?

unbelievable
Nov 01, 2013 09:07pm

If the two sides were serious about negotiating you would think they would have had some discussions by now. Unfortunately it's a Pakistan habit of making speeches/promises rather than actually doing anything - even if it involves just sitting across the table and talking. Maybe you should outsource negotiations to the American's - they at least can start a dialogue.

Syed Ahmed
Nov 02, 2013 06:05am

The menace of shooting is growing in the US. Very sad in deed.