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In this Thursday Aug. 15, 2013 photo, Asmatullah Muawiya, head of the Taliban’s faction of fighters from central Punjab province, listens to reporters at an undisclosed place in the tribal region of Waziristan. -Photo by AP
In this Thursday Aug. 15, 2013 photo, Asmatullah Muawiya, head of the Taliban’s faction of fighters from central Punjab province, listens to reporters at an undisclosed place in the tribal region of Waziristan. -Photo by AP

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: A senior commander of the Punjabi Taliban commander has welcomed the government’s recent offer to hold peace talks.

Asmatullah Muawiya, a principal ally of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and leader of the so-called Punjabi Taliban, said in a statement Thursday that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif demonstrated political maturity by reiterating his offer to hold peace negotiations in a speech over the weekend.

In a his first nationally televised speech to the nation after coming to power in the May 11 general elections, Prime Minister Sharif had offered dialogue to “those elements which unfortunately have taken the course of extremism”.

Muawiya said militants in Pakistan should respond positively if the government is serious about resolving the conflict.

Muawiya is believed to be the head of the Taliban’s faction of fighters from Punjab province.

It’s not entirely certain whether the TTP top leadership shares his sentiments. But they have backed previous statements made by Muawiya, saying he should be seen as having their support.

The TTP withdrew a previous offer to hold peace talks in May after the group’s deputy commander, Waliur Rehman, was killed in a US drone strike.

Comments (29) Closed

Ali Naseer Aug 22, 2013 07:55pm

After Killed so many Innocents, i don't think Govt needs to talk with Taliban, their Last resort of Life is Hell, and hopefully they will get Hell soon, Inshallah. I hate those kind of Laskhur who killed innocent people kids, woman's for no reason.

M. Siddique Aug 22, 2013 08:59pm

I always wondered why these taliban thugs cover thir faces when they get photographed. If they think they are righteous then come out in public in big cities and say that you are one of those thugs.

Starr Aug 22, 2013 11:29pm

Arrest him and hang this rebel. There is no place for rebels in an Islamic ountry.

Aftab Kenneth Wilson Aug 23, 2013 01:21am

Punjabi Talibans? Tomorrow there can be Sindhi Talibans, Baluchi Talibans and then Pathan Talibans. Simply tell them to throw their weapons and face the courts. All know what are their demands so fight them out. Our country can not afford these types of Talibans and different Lashkars. Our Armed Forces are enough to defend the country. We don't need any Side Kicks. Enough is enough.

Bhatti Aug 23, 2013 02:34am

Good going Nawaz Sharif you have agreed to talk to these animals. These backwards enemy of the state are the same people who have spread violence throughout our country killed our military personnel our hardworking policemen our children and taken away peace all in the name of the islam. We can NOT reason with these savages they do not understand any civil or decent gesture. Push these kaafirs out from our country into Afghanistan and let the American's drone them and their mindset. We want the Pakistan of Quaid-e-Azam.

Ali KN Aug 23, 2013 02:48am

Will Nawaz Sharif & other political parties supporting dialogue with Talibans come out and tell public what they would like to discuss with Taliban leaders ? Less than aborgating constitution of Pakistan, imposing shria laws, anything else will not be acceptable to Talibans. If the government does not want to accept these conditions, then what is the point in holding the discussion ?

Omar Aug 23, 2013 03:56am

Not again!!! How mediocre is our leadership that we keep giving in to extremists. What peace??? Are they willing to live in a secular democracy and practice faith without imposing it on others. No? Then, what peace are we aiming for?

Shah Aug 23, 2013 09:24am

Sure, we come in peace ... while holding AK47s in the background. Bunch of hypocrites

arif Aug 23, 2013 09:41am

Lets hope US doesn't do the dirty work by dropping drones again at this brink of the about to happen litany.

KH Aug 23, 2013 10:20am

I am not a slightest of the PPP supporter but I can see very clearly that it takes the real courage to stand in the face of radicalism & militancy. Its really embarrassing to see our scared PM showing much cowardice after every attack by the TTP. How can you even talk of negotiations when the killing spree has not even ceased temporarily. How can you even talk to people wearing suicide vests? Is it that you want to bargain on the blood of our brave soldiers and the general public?

mustafa Aug 23, 2013 11:52am

let us also plain the land for negotiations with other criminals such as decoits and gangsters so that pakistan may be in peace for ever.

malik Aug 23, 2013 12:29pm

@arif: Wonder what are they going to talk about?

Aftab Kenneth Wilson Aug 23, 2013 12:58pm

If these are Punjabi Talibans then time is ripe for our Punjabi PM and CM to take solid action. Why these people belonging to a single province is bent upon pasting their own brand of ideology on the whole country? Only deal with them the way they have killed both our civilians and people in uniform. Dialogue for what and why?

Ali Azhar Aug 23, 2013 02:59pm

Extremely disgusting to see LeJ and Punjabi taliban with names depicts the grim state of mind and dirty mentality!

ranganath Aug 23, 2013 03:43pm

Want to talk peace with people who are killing your own countrymen? They should be treated as terrorists and should be hunted down.

asheikh Aug 23, 2013 04:24pm

@arif: What makes you think that These guys are serious about talks. In the past they have used such tricks to buy time and regroup and expand - remember Swat?

A R Khan Aug 23, 2013 04:25pm

Negotiating with a maulvi with guns does not lead you anywhere except destruction.

M R Khawaja Aug 23, 2013 04:54pm

They should find him and his followers and kill them like they kill security personnel's. There should be no talk to these Animals with bearded worst kind of human if you call them human being. There shall not be difficult to find usual place Madrassas Mosques and graveyard easy to send them to there final destination mean hell where they belong.

Gerry D'Cunha Aug 23, 2013 04:56pm

punjab taliban; sindhi taliban; pakhtoon taliban;baluchi taliban - all have spirutual licence for the gateway to heaven for the people of pakistan

Bhatti Aug 23, 2013 07:28pm

Down With Mullahs and Down With Nawaz! Why would you want to negotiate with monsters who shoot little girls blow up schools and kill our military men. These terrorist savages do not understand any decency or civility they only understand one language "fire power" .. show them we (our army and state) has much more of that than these thugs. Smoke them and put an end this cancer that's eating up our country

aSheikh Aug 23, 2013 10:47pm

OMG. What an appropriate name for him...

Asif A. Shah Aug 23, 2013 11:40pm

Mr. Asmatullah Muawia should have have mentioned his demands as well. I hope that they would not be those kind of crazy demands which Maulana Tahirul Qadri had made in Islam Abad in January 2013.

Any group can make demands. The question is: are those demands realistic and can be met given the overwhelming problems of Pakistan. However, there is no harm in talking to anybody. Talk softly and carry a big stick of law and order.

Sarwat Aug 24, 2013 08:54am

I want my Pakistan Back. We have already paid too much in blood. Pakistan was not created for these goons. They are imported mess from middle east. Billions flow in from their to create chaos and defy Pakistani state. They are anti-state elements and they should be dealt with accordingly. PM and his brother are scared of these bigots and are also worried about losing money raking cycle due to disruption of so called normal life. What about the families who have lost their loved ones, Mr. PM, who will get them justice??? Whoever pick up arms against our armed forces are enemy of state what about that. And since when State of Pakistan negotiates with terrorists????

Shyam Kokku Aug 24, 2013 09:35am

Any peace talks should be welcome, but do you talk with hard core criminals or allow the law to deal with them? There are two parties to these talks, Government and Taliban. Government represents the people. Who and what does the Taliban represent? Criminal gangs? Terrorists? Militants? Once that is established, then "objective for the talks" can be set up. In the name of bringing peace, one should not talk to every murderer or a mafia leader in the country... just a view!

Shah Aug 24, 2013 12:53pm

@arif: Let's try this again ... I send someone to your door, blow you to pieces while you could be going for work or study, in the name of ideology that does not exist anywhere in the religion, THEN I call up your family to "negotiate" peace!!!

Any idea what I'm trying to tell you sunshine? or do you not know what's going on around you?

NK Ali Aug 24, 2013 01:22pm

Action is what is now required and not snubbing the citizens and army by talking to the Taliban (Punjabi, TTP or by any name). Salams

Mustafa Aug 24, 2013 08:08pm

Good news is that TTP has stripped off the leadership of Asmatullah Muawiya in Punjab after he welcomed negotiations with Government of Pakistan for peace talks. The bad news is Pakistani government leaders are naive to believe that negotiations with the militants and terrorists will bring peace in Pakistan.

Rauf Aug 24, 2013 08:19pm

Is he still alive? Doesn't matter if he is killed by his co-idealogisits or by drone.

AH Aug 25, 2013 04:53am

What do they want? DO we know?